Nghệ thuậtBàn tròn "Mĩ thuật đương đại Việt Nam đang ở đâu" |
Talawas round table "Contemporary Vietnamese art in the international context"
Welcome to our round table "Contemporary Vietnamese Art in the international context". We want to discuss and analyze different aspects relating to contemporary art in Vietnam. Tradition, potential, problems, the socio-political framework, state cultural policies, education and patronage, the system of museums, the business environment, etc. As the title implies, we specially want to see these issues in the relation to the international picture. I hope we will have a direct and constructive discussion.
As for the guests of the round table, I am very pleased to say that we have an ideal split between Vietnamese and non-Vietnamese, and that the participants come from very different backgrounds (for more details please see the introduction sheet). Probably, the only minus is that we miss a state official in charge of museum or cultural policies. But there is still hope that this person will be in the audience.
I would like to start with an observation.
In recent years, artists from developing countries have became more and more visible in the international museum and exhibition scene. One concrete example: in the exhibition documenta 11 in Germany last summer, which was one of the biggest and most important exhibition worldwide, 45 out of the 115 invited artists came from outside Europe and North America. In comparison, in documenta 10 five years ago, this number was 20 out of 138. I think the blame on this exhibition for being euro-centric is no longer valid. However, Vietnam, with the exception of Tran Thi Minh Ha, a Viet Kieu living in the USA, who sent two travelogue videos recoded in Africa and in Japan to the exhibition, was not present. On the other side, artists from countries, which have a similar socio-political climate and environment for creating art, like Cuba, or from countries with even more isolation and obstacles, like Iran, were all the more visible. How can we explain the fact that we still don't have individuals showing up in the international art scene? Are we not interesting enough to play in the "champion league", or Vietnamese art, although holding surprises inside, is not yet discovered by the international art machinery, and therefore, still left out by curators?