Nghệ thuậtBàn tròn "Mĩ thuật đương đại Việt Nam đang ở đâu" |
Bùi Suối Hoa, Như Huy, Bùi Hoài Mai
Talawas round table "Contemporary Vietnamese art in the international context"
Bui Suoi Hoa (from the audience):
To talk about art is to talk about, first and foremost, forms, colors and light - or visual expressions, the unique language of art. An artist can, of course, sneak political, philosophical or social ideas into his product; but without the visual experssions, his product will be of little value. In my opinions, a complicated painting displaying a bunch of human faces and scores of forms and strokes, depicting a set of "big" social issues is of no better value than one with some simple strokes, one human face, one leave or just one anything.
I always place value of a painting in its ability to evoke emotions and to self-express its soul in each single stroke. With today's technology, exactness and special visual effects can be achieved easily with the help of modern photography and cinematography. Art talks through its own language, the language of colors and forms, the language of human emotions and soul. An artist is a lot different than any other professionals, albeit poets, scientists, philosophers, or politicians.
I also want to talk a little bit about the meaning of national character. Where I was born and brough up is, as the matter of fact, my homeland and my country, no matter what. I do love art and I do love to study human beings in nature and society. But I probably will only draw about Vietnam. Because the Vietnamese faces or the Vietnamese traditional dresses I depict in my paintings come from my soul. They are dear to my heart. Perhaps all over the world, human beings are just the same, with their very same desires, wishes and problems. But because Vietnam is my homeland, its people give me the strongest motivations to work.
I want to be able to get hold of Beauty in every moment and portrayed her through my own eyes. We, human beings, create geographical and social boudaries. But I believe that art knows no boundaries. Just as we human beings are way different from each other. In art, to search for an unique way of express yourself means innovation. As an artist, what I am concerned about is the journey to discover and rediscover myself to the highest honesty. Your own knowledge and intuition will build up your own values and images as a better or worse artist.
Dear Veronika, I think your paragraph "It's about some artists coming up with a great and unique idea, painting cows with joy and humor…" should be rewritten as follow "(My) artists came up with (I thought) a great and unique idea, painting cows with (giving me) joy and humor… " Sure, it seems that after finding our way through the maze, we are getting closer to a point we could discuss about, that is, the view about the function of art.
Surely, through your opinion, I have understood partly your view of art which you possess as well as you wish to teach your students about the function of art (in one message in this forum, you yourself acknowledged that you are an artist with a confused mind; however, I hope your view of art is not as confused as your artist mind).
To my understanding, art, in your class's view, is a place where people laugh, have a good time, enjoy life spontaneously, and artists is a group of carefree people "who live in video and dream with performance, and finally place their souls at installation." Surely, whatever you and your students think, I understand it and no longer have any question. Thank you - but, what do you think about circus? The function of circus is very much alike your class's view of the function of art.
You also wrote "Quite simply: it is a young art. And after all, the canvas was cheap. More money left for bia hoi...." It is not that cheap, you know? I do not know how expensive a German cow is, but a Vietnamese cow is about several millions dong each; and if it is not painted with red and exhibited at Documenta, it could help feed a Vietnamese peasant family, who labor in "the working environment of the farmer" - as you wrote.
Bui Hoai Mai (from the audience):
I have been followed the discussions in Talawas roundtable. Today, I would like to have some words because I am very interested in Laurent Colin's opinions. This opinion shows a pretty accurate view of the real situation of today Vietnamese art. It's too bad that the framework/scope of this roundtable is limited that these issues posed by Laurent Colin could not be expanded. Another interesting thing is that Laurent's opinion is more objective then the opinions of "professional" art critics, art historians and art researchers at this roundtable (as Laurent Colin self-introduction words "to add a few comments as an 'amateur' only since I am not an art critic, nor an expert let alone an artist"). Because the art critics of "contemporary art" have been under a pretty heavy psychological pressure - this psychological mentality has been evolved from the experience in the revolutionary success of modernism starting before the First World War, with the artists as martyrs going against the slight/mock of the media and the public. Today it is the reverse. The critics and audience altogether hurry to accept and applaud anything new, anything "contemporary" with all cost; the tradition of the "new" has become widespread/common (or popularized) so much that all other traditions are seen as foolish. These very things have effected, not just in a small scale, the Vietnamese artists in their "confused" quest for modernity, for fear of not catching up with "international contemporary art" as reminded by art critics. I agree with the warning that the neo-colonialism "are preventing artists to conduct a real interrogation on Vietnamese culture roots..." and I have more than once told my artist friends about this but few have paid any attention, because to them colonialism is synonymous with the image of a Westerner pointing a gun to you and forcing you to work without pay. About the book "Orientalism" of Edward W. Said, although there are differences between Asia and Middle East, but the book has helped to change (or to restate) an outdated opinion in the way a nation or culture is studied. About this issue, I recommend "Social Space in Southeast Asia" by Georges Condominas.
© Talawas 2002