Nghệ thuậtBàn tròn "Mĩ thuật đương đại Việt Nam đang ở đâu" |
Veronika Radulovic, Mai Chi
Talawas round table "Contemporary Vietnamese art in the international context"
Veronika Radulovic: Thanks Nora, and sorry for my English, I am not a native speaker and want to answer as fast as possible. Hope everything will be clear. Yes, first was the political opening of Vietnam and afterward foreigners realized there is an art scene. This might explain our political and mostly national reception of Vietnamese art. Maybe? Everything is more multilayered as we can see. It reminds me the opening of Hungary or the Soviet Union. There was a lot of Hungarian art and Glasnost art and whatever. The names of the artists were mostly forgotten. To describe Kabakov today as an Russian artist would be strange. And would we ever talk about Picasso as an spanish artists?
And in Vietnam? Even in our short discussion, we are using few names of artists, the personalities, the unique and innovations. Mostly we are talking about an mass of individuals, called vietnamese artist, without any difference.
Kaomi, you mentioned Philip Morris, however, do you believe that this price is taken seriously, and the artist in Vietnam can´t see a difference between exhibitions, which are organized by curators, and advertising campaigns? This of course could be an interesting discussion as well. There are more funny and disparaging notices even under the students of the university for art Hanoi about it... For some artists it´s a challenge, few artists take part, few not. But not because of fearing a national hurdle. The orientation of this price is clear. Everybody knows. And you don´t have to explain to vietnamese artist how a electric bulb works. They are critical enough.
Mai Chi: Sofar a lot of important issues were raised. We will discuss each of the raised issues in more details as the talk goes on. Especially, I hope the frank judgements of Natasha and Kaomi about the quality and integrity of Vietnamese artists will lead to a heated but interesting debate.
As we continue to talk about Vietnamese art, I would like make one remark that for me the thing called "Vietnamese art" has no clear contour. Who is making Vietnamese art? Do the Vietnamese living abroad, like Tran Thi Minh Ha in the previous Documenta example, or Nguyen Dai Giang, our round table guest, contribute to Vietnamese art. On the other side, do foreigners residing and working in Vietnam belong to Vietnamese art? I remember visiting one exhibition about modern Mexican art, and one fourth of the artists participating in the show were non-Mexican living in Mexico.
Natasha mentioned the term "Vietnameseness" and I would suggest we take a closer look on it. This term is used by many people and groups in Vietnam, so I guess there are different meanings to it. Maybe we can be more specific about what really Vietnameseness is, in our context. And why using "Vietnamese themes" would be a hinderance for making good art. Does it have something to do with the "village culture" mentality mentioned by Kaomi? I guess these questions also relate to the question about "international value", or I would take the original wording of Nora, "universal value" of art.
I hope that everybody, but especially our Vietnamese guests, would share their thoughts on these issues.
© Talawas 2002