The exposition Vietnamese Diasporic Voices: Exploring Yellow Music in a Liminal Space seeks to identify artistic strategies and challenges in intercultural experimentation with nhạc vàng (yellow music)—a Vietnamese popular music genre. It builds on the author’s experience as a professional musician and đàn tranh player on the Vietnamese traditional music scene, and on her long-term international and intercultural collaborations with performers and composers, as a member of the Vietnamese/Swedish group The Six Tones. In three video essays, the exposition presents the artistic process developed by the participating artists, and an analysis of how these strategies relate to the rule systems of traditional and popular music in Vietnam.


Nguyễn Thanh Thủy was born into a theatre family and was raised with traditional Vietnamese music from an early age in Hà Nội, Vietnam. She studied at the Hanoi Conservatory of Music where she received her diploma in 1998, followed by a Master of Arts at the Institute of Cultural Studies in 2003. She has received many distinctions including the First Prize and the Outstanding Traditional Music Performer Prize in the National Competition of Đàn Tranh Talents in 1998.

Between 2009 and 2011, she was involved as an artistic researcher in the international research project (re)thinking improvisation, a collaboration between the Vietnam National Academy of Music and the Malmö Academy of Music. Since 2012, she has been resident in Sweden. Between 2012 and 2019 she carried out an artistic PhD project concerned with gestures in traditional Vietnamese music from a gender perspective. She received her doctoral degree at Lund University in November 2019. Between 2018 and 2021 she was engaged in Musical Transformations, an artistic research project looking at musical change, in transcultural and intercultural settings. Between 2021 and 2023 Nguyễn is an international postdoctoral research fellow at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm, and at the Institute of Arts, Faculty of Education, Western Norway University of Applied Sciences. Her artistic research project focuses on music and identity in diaspora, and is funded by the Swedish Research Council.