Hanoi Rauschenberg

By: Hal Medrano "I think a painting is more like the real world if it's made out the real world." - Robert Rauschenberg Robert Rauschenberg took New York City trash to his studio, and glued it onto his canvases. "There is no reason," the American artist concluded, "not to consider the world as one gigantic painting." Hanoi's richly textured walls testify to Rauschenberg's once-startling assertion that everything can potentially be seen as art, if we give it the proper … [Read more...]

Vietnam art scene slowly revives

Posted on BBC News When Vietnamese painter Tran Luong tried to take a group of students to China last year, his aim was to find artistic inspiration. Instead he found censorship, when the culture police confiscated his materials and refused to let him leave Vietnam. He is not the only contemporary artist or writer to fall foul of the ruling Communist Party's strictures. Performance artist Dao Anh Khanh has had several shows cancelled, while prominent young writer Do Hoang Dieu found her … [Read more...]

Why does Vietnam not do well in the visual arts? (part 2)

From Cristina Nualart Posted on 17 October 2011 My personal impression is that Vietnam, a dynamic nation with a wide multicultural heritage, currently shows little innovation in the visual arts. Here I outline the factors that I believe have caused this. In a country with very high literacy rates, visual literacy seems to lag behind. For example, note the desperate shortage of visuals in the popular realm. Advertising is everywhere, but it often looks like this: In 300 metres, … [Read more...]

Why does Vietnam not do well in the visual arts? (part 1)

From Cristina Nualart Posted on 5 October 2011 It was disheartening to see the exhibition, closing today, at the Applied Arts Museum of HCMC. The venue is linked to the Fine Art University and has occasional shows of random quality. It’s wonderful to have a space where sometimes students exhibit, and sometimes established artists, but for this reason there is little consistency in what is on show. Many of the artists who exhibit there are lecturers, as is the case currently. Pham Cong … [Read more...]

Day of future past

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I am among those who, after long contact with so many Vietnamese artists, are of the opinion that lacquer whose enormous capacity for artistic ceration has been proven by certain artists in their diverse work and research-will in the near future become the artistic medium par excellence for representing this country since it acts as an exterior cultural sign of Vietnam’s vitality and uniqueness. The proper and original method with which Vietnamese contemporary artists utillise lacquer exists … [Read more...]

Horror Of The War In Vietnamese Art

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By: Dorothy The concept of war has been a dominant theme throughout art and literature. Wars have been a part of the human experience that has been fought with guns and swords, and expressed with symbols and ideas. War and opposition to war have been represented throughout history by using the tools and texts of political science, sociology, history, literature, music, and also the visual arts. The Vietnamese society has been no exception to the above. Vietnam features a history as rich … [Read more...]

Modern Paintings In Vietnam Rising Above The Identity Crisis!

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By: sam78 Think modern paintings, or more precisely, think Asian modern paintings, and you will find yourself thinking about Vietnamese modern paintings. Contemporary Vietnamese art, in recent years, has become quite a force to reckon with. Ever since its recent emancipation from its socio-political shackles which have long kept it confined to a rather provincial existence, Vietnamese modern art has blossomed in its full glory before an awed international audience. Indeed, there is no … [Read more...]

The Vietnamese Art Scene

Nguyen Thanh Binh - Mother and Child

By: Ted Hill While researching some possible destinations in Vietnam, Ive come across something Ive never really written about before: art. The word Vietnam has always been frequently associated with war, and times of hardship, but has anyone ever seen any of the works by Nguyen Thanh Binh? Or photographs from Phan Tu Trang? According to Nguyen Qui Duc, art curator and author, It wouldnt be an exaggeration to say that art is big business in Vietnam. But a lot of money is changing hands … [Read more...]

Framing the National Spirit – Viewing and Reviewing Painting under the Revolution [Part 4]

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By Nora A. Taylor in The Country of Memory: Remaking the Past in Late Socialist Vietnam edited by Hue-Tam Ho Tai the cafe´ owner seem calm and nonchalant in this scene, perhaps even slightly bored, and a kind of ennui or emptiness prevails. One is reminded of the portraits of absinthe drinkers in Paris cafe´s by such French postimpressionist painters as Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Edouard Manet, and Pablo Picasso, in which figures often appear afflicted with chronic melancholy or … [Read more...]

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Framing the National Spirit – Viewing and Reviewing Painting under the Revolution [Part 3]

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By Nora A. Taylor in The Country of Memory: Remaking the Past in Late Socialist Vietnam edited by Hue-Tam Ho Tai him also acts in a less than friendly manner as he prods him past the doorway. While these two paintings by Nguyen Sang were never criticized directly, they were rejected from national art competitions. Criticism or rejection from national art competitions often meant that the work had been placed before an audience of workers and soldiers who, in the absence of any other … [Read more...]