Post Đổi Mới – Vietnamese Art After 1990

June 11, 2008 at 11:59 am | Posted in itchy mouth | Leave a comment
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This year marked the 35th years of diplomatic ties between Singapore and Vietnam and the Singapore Art Museum has organised an exhibtion on Vietnames modern and contemporay art.

According to Wikipedia, Đổi Mới means ‘innovation’ in Vietnamese. It was the name given to the economic reforms (or free market reforms) initiated by the Socialist Republic of Vietnam in 1986. The works in this exhibition, all date after 1990, dealt with the development of Vietnamese art after these political and cultural changes, that is, the post Đổi mới period.

Enter the lift, and open up to the world of contemporary Vietnamese art

Oil painting, Autumn in Hanoi by Pham Luan

Which reminded me of my trip to Hanoi some time back…

Typical street scene of Hanoi

This installation titled Living Fossils, by Vuong Van Thao, immortalised
36 old shophouses and loudspeakers made in stoneware by encasing them in resin

Er, uncle, see no touch leh….

Old shophouses are common sight in Hanoi, especially around the Old Quarters. 36 shophouses cos there used to be 36 streets in the Old Quarters. But loudspeakers? Why loudspeakers? I think I remembered seeing a number of these on the power poles during my last trip…

Can you find the loudspeaker here?

Nor…hiding at one corner… :p

According to this site, these loudspeakers were a relic of the American War. While they were used during that time to update or warn people of aircraft bombings, they are very much a part of life now as community radio, for announcement of social topics and issues. Some said these speakers were set up in the North Vietnam by the government in the 1950s, to help the poor people who could not afford radios to be better informed. But I don’t remember hearing any of these when we were there, which explained why it didn’t occur to me to find out why these speakers were there for ..:p No wonder the artist titled his installation, Living Fossils, as a reminder of the past.

I can’t remember the name of this piece, but the use of corrugated
cartoon board as dress was interesting…

This showcase of contemporary Vietnamese art features loans from the Vietnam National Museum of Fine Arts, Hanoi, Fine Arts Museum of Ho Chi Minh City and various artists from Vietnam as well as collectors from Vietnam, Singapore, UK and USA.

Incidentally, we also visited the Museum of Fine Arts, Hanoi when we were there and were quite impressed with the many works there. These are some of them that I like…

A celebrative mood in this painting of a soldier’s home coming

Many Vietnamese painting use gold paint as seen in this beautiful portrait

Diverse and rich culture can be seen in this closeup of a much bigger
lacquer painting. See Uncle Ho in the painting?

The theme of Vietnamese art is diverse and rich, just like their historical and cultural background. This is the first major exhibition of the Vietnamese contemporary art in Singapore in conjunction with the Vietnam Festival.

Do catch Post Đổi Mới – Vietnamese Art After 1990 now in the Singapore Art Museum till 28 September to learn more about Vietnam!

Also see related post:
> Xu Beihong in Nanyang
> i-squeeze – Cu Chi Tunnel, Vietnam Trip #7
> The Eye – CaoDaism and The Holy See, Vietnam Trip #6
> Metamorphosis – Hoi An, Vietnam Trip #5
> Raise the Red Lantern – Hoi An, Vietnam Trip #4
> The Way of Life – Hoi An, Vietnam Trip #3
> Idyllic Ancient Town – Hoi An, Vietnam Trip #2
> Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon – Hoi An, Vietnam Trip #1


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