Outdoor sculptures on display in Vietnam metro

Chi (Point) by Nguyen Tan Cuong is among 64 sculptures featured at the third Ho Chi Minh City Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition at Van Thanh Tourist Area in the city.The third Ho Chi Minh City outdoor sculpture exhibition opened on January 5 at Van Thanh Tourist Area in Binh Thanh District.

The exhibition features 64 works by 50 artists nationwide, half of whom are young ones, including Chi (Point) by Nguyen Tan Cuong, Tai tao (renewable) by Tran Tuan Nghia, and Noi toi (My grandfather) by Nguyen Van Chuoc.

According to the exhibit organizer, the city’s Association of Fine Arts, the exhibition will run until February 5, after which the best sculptural works will be featured at Nguyen Hue flower street during Tet holiday.

The exhibition also includes a display book of Ho Chi Minh City Sculpture, from 1975 to 2010. The book highlights the history of the art and outstanding works created during the period, and is translated in English and Vietnamese.

The 300-page book is co-invested and published by five artists, Uyen Huy, Bui Hai Son, Nguyen Xuan Tien, Nguyen Hoai Huyen Vu and Hoang Tan.

At the press conference, sculptor Bui Hai Son, head of the city’s sculpture department under the association of Fine Arts, raised questions whether after the exhibition, such works will be appreciated and purchased by local visitors or sent back to the artists’ homes or to the warehouse, like previous events.

“We have no idea about these works’ future after the exhibition, said Son, member of the organizing board, worrying about the future of the city’s sculpture.”

The press conference spontaneously turned into a discussion of how to promote and develop the art in the city.

This year’s event, which is held every five years, features various subjects, including urban living space, weather changes and environment. However, the works’ quality has regressed, compared to the show in 2007.

According to the organizer, senior artists are no longer interested in the exhibition, whereas, the younger ones don’t have enough material to “invest” in their works, which could possibly explain the degradation.

Most importantly, according to artist Uyen Huy, head of the association, because there’s no support and sponsor for the city’s sculptors, the artists are too tired of spending their own money to create artworks, carrying them to the exhibition and collecting them back.

Uyen Huy, who was quoted by Tuoi Tre newspaper at the conference, stressed on the importance of the local government’s support in promoting the art.

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