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The fictional Manh ghep cuoc doi (Porcelain) television series commissioned by the Zeeuws Museum in the Netherlands tells the story of a young author living in contemporary times who accidentally comes into possession of a ceramic vase that dates back to the 16th century. Guided by a mysterious female voice, she is led to learn more about the vase that traveled on a cursed voyage from Asia to Europe.

This narrative, developed as a script by a group of local and international filmmakers, is an attempt to explain the origins of an Asian porcelain vase on display at the Dutch museum.

The television series based on the script is produced with a predominantly Vietnamese cast (starring the talented 9x Diem My) by the Propeller Group, a Vietnamese-owned creative development and production company (who made Ho Ngoc Ha & Lieu Anh Tuan‘s MVs), in cooperation with Superflex – a group of artists from Copenhagen that has collaborated with the Propeller Group on several projects.

While several antiques, including the vase, were brought from the museum to Vietnam for the filming in Ho Chi Minh City, the crew asked local artisans to make 50 copies of the vase.

According to the museum, the vase was among Asian porcelain products carried by a Portuguese carrack, San Jago, which was captured by the Dutch in an act of piracy off the St. Helena coast in 1602. When the ship was later brought to Middelburg in the Netherlands, millions of dollars were earned from selling the porcelain at an auction, marking the start of the city’s prosperity.

Some of the props used in the film are part of an installation display together with other artifacts in an exhibition that opened early last month at the Dutch museum. As part of the exhibition, open until February 8, the series was also screened at Filmtheater Schuttershof in Middelburg, Zeeland on October 16 and have received good feedback from Dutch audiences.

Wanting to offer the public a chance to study its collection’s history in creative, interesting ways, Porcelain and the display are part of a Zeeuws Museum plan launched this year to explore the significance of local identity in a national and international context. (Thanh Nien)

For more information, you can check out the series’ official Facebook page Here.