Alternate spaces, mainstream problems

art

  Alternative exhibition spaces are striving to develop in Vietnam 20 years after they first came on the scene   An artist performing his work at the ‘Shaping a Line’ exhibition, opening from July 28 to September 8, at San Art in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo courtesy of SanArt.   Artists are famous, if not notorious, for their need to be free from constraints the others might not even see as constraints.   They need the space to be spontaneous, a space that … [Read more...]

Exhibition just came to town

Curiosity made its way to Saigon, attracting people to a smashing exhibition in Thien Son Plaza, district 7. "This kind of art is very popular in the West, but it's totally new to the Vietnamese audience." Such is an easy, and yet effective, way to introduce something "modern" in this country. People, young and old alike, enjoyed the exhibition, so much so that going to the plaza was temporarily not seen as a cult of consumerism, but an act of art lovers. Although the pictures brought to us … [Read more...]

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

DBL

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]

bui xuan phai

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...]

Framing the National Spirit – Viewing and Reviewing Painting under the Revolution [Part 2]

gapnhau

By Nora A. Taylor in The Country of Memory: Remaking the Past in Late Socialist Vietnam edited by Hue-Tam Ho Tai the Communist Party from 1941 until 1956, outlined the task of the artist: “to draw from reality what is typical, what people can see at first glance, gather facts, ideas and contradictions into a lively picture, and indicate the right direction leading to the correct Future.”[8] Portraits were mostly considered trivial exercises in physiognomy and therefore irrelevant to the … [Read more...]

Framing the National Spirit – Viewing and Reviewing Painting under the Revolution [Part 1]

Le Thi Kim Bach and her painting

By Nora A. Taylor in The Country of Memory: Remaking the Past in Late Socialist Vietnam edited by Hue-Tam Ho Tai Paintings, like monuments and memorials, serve as sites of commemoration in the form of portrayals of historic events or illustrious war heroes. In Vietnam, the National Museum of Fine Arts abounds with paintings depicting legendary battles against Chinese invaders and portraits of soldiers preparing to fight the enemy. Until recently, these paintings, and the artists who … [Read more...]

The Evolution of Vietnamese Ceramics

By John Stevenson Published on 3/1/98 Things Asian The evolution of Vietnamese ceramics parallels the course of Vietnamese history, reflecting how people lived and how they related to neighboring cultures. The vocabulary of ceramic shapes, glazes, and decorative motifs allows us to read the development of a culture that now has little remaining in the way of physical artifacts by which to trace its history. The Chinese potter aimed for and frequently achieved perfect technique, … [Read more...]

Changing Time

Do Quang Em - Still life on red cloth

Asian Art News, 1997 By Ian Findlay and Helene Hagemans The vitality of the contemporary Vietnamese art scene is being driven not only by clear commercial considerations, but also by artists and dealers committed to creating and promoting quality work. Less than a decade ago, contemporary Vietnamese art and artists had little resence in their own country and virtually none on the international art scene. Yet, just four years ago, the eminent critic and painter Ca Le Thang reported in … [Read more...]

Vietnamese Modern Art: Change, Stagnation, Potential, Strategy

By Natalia Kraevskaia, Ph.D March 30, 2000 The unprecedented shift in Vietnamese modern art after "doi moi" is widely recognized (1). The emergence of new art forms and stylistic diversity, the recognition of Vietnamese modern art by foreign critics and the public, the participation of the artists in different international exhibitions and art projects abroad - all these predicted the future flowering of art. However, the first indications of some stagnation became obvious in the late … [Read more...]

Inner World

Phan Cam Thuong

By Phan Cam Thuong  Fine Arts Critics (This article is writen about artist Hoang Hai Anh and his works) The contribution of an artist to fine art creation can be recognized either through his innovation of art language, or simply his perfect works with the repetition of available style and techniques. The former more difficult to do. The latter is not less easier, but to reflects flow of art word, in which artists who share the shame style can have great achievements for their … [Read more...]