Culture Ministry tightens rules after supermodel smokes on the catwalk

It is said that the latest case, associated with supermodel Thanh Hang, has urged the Ministry to tighten control over performing art activities.

Smoking Thanh Hang

Thanh Hang smoking on the stage

Thanh Hang has stirred a public debate after she smoked during the Elle Spring Summer 2012 Fashion Show in HCM City one week ago.

The model, who walked as the leading model for the collection by famous designer Do Manh Cuong, stunned audiences watching the show by smoking on the stage.

Designer Do Manh Cuong explained that Hang’s smoking was an expression for the collection’s concept of the lonely and desperate mood of a young girl who broke up with her boyfriend.

He also said that the model used an e-cigarette, not a real one and the e-cigarette was only a tool to transfer the artistic concept of the collection to audiences.

Though some people agreed that the smoking made the catwalk more fanciful, the audience was nonetheless shocked by the image of a model smoking on a catwalk.

Vo Van Nam, Vice Director of the HCM City Department of Culture, Sport and Tourism, said that at the rehearsal before the show, Thanh Hang did not smoke. The agency only knew of the incident after news about it was posted. He said that the incident could be a precedent for bringing banned goods into art performances.

After the show, a representative of the Program Against Harmful Effects of Cigarettes raised the voice against the incident, showing their concern of harmful impacts on the youth.

Artists should be aware of how their actions affect the community, the official said. “If they violate the law, for example by showing their body on a catwalk, they will be fined.”

In March, the culture department fined model Thai Ha VND5 million ($250) for exposing most of her breasts in a skimpy outfit at an advertising event.

Earlier, Quang Binh Province’s Department of Culture, Sport and Tourism announced a VND3.5 million ($170) fine against the organizer of the “Night of Beauties” charity music show, in which many performers were criticized for donning skimpy costumes last August.

In the newly-released instruction, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism confirms that tough measures will be applied to prevent violations in performing art organization, including the behavior of artists on the stage.

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