Recently, the first bilingual publication on 12 contemporary Vietnamese artists was launched at a ceremony in Viet Art Centre. The book has been written by 11 different writers ranging from professors and journalists to curators and artists; of which several were present at the launching along with the 12 artists and the Danish ambassador, Mr. Peter Lysholt Hansen.
The Vietnamese contemporary art scene has progressed tremendously during the last two decades. Vietnamese artists have begun to expand the borders of their art and display their work with more confidence: not only towards the local Vietnamese audience but to the rest of the world as well. With an ambition to spread the knowledge of Vietnamese art to a wider audience, the chief editor of the book, Ms. Dao Mai Trang, chose to make it both in Vietnamese and English. Furthermore, the contributions have come from 11 very different authors with both Vietnamese and international backgrounds. By bringing in some international views on Vietnamese art, the book is expected to offer some interesting comparisons between Vietnamese and foreign perceptions of contemporary Vietnamese art and artists.
The book has been published with the support from the Cultural Development and Exchange Fund (CDEF) under the Embassy of Denmark in Vietnam. The ambassador of Denmark, and chairman of the CDEF, Mr. Peter Lysholt Hansen, who gave the opening speech at the book launch, stated that he was very pleased to have been able to support the book and thereby been able to “further spread the knowledge of the contemporary Vietnamese art scene and its great progress during the last decades in Vietnam and the rest of the world”. He continued with congratulating both the 11 writers, the 12 artists and the chief editor, Ms. Dao Mai Trang, on their big accomplishment and further stated that he hoped that this book would not be the last on the subject.
The 12 contemporary artists included in the book are very different from each other in their background, lifestyles, ways of thinking and work. Their only common ground is perhaps the conviction that art is more than just the voice of the individual, for the individual, and by the individual. Their art is a challenge to themselves and to the viewer in terms of habits of thinking about art, emotional habits, and behavioural habits as they vary according to society, individual inclinations and current events.
The book is published by Thế Giới Publishers and will be in stores from May 2010 onwards.