Like many people you may be wondering why there is currently so much interest in the arts of Vietnam and the Orient. The main reason is that the indigenous artistic sector has blossomed with creativity over the last decade and is now producing a fantastically diverse range of arts. Inspiration is taken from the artistic legacy of hundreds of years of development, allied to new techniques and styles. The creative industries are exploring new media, materials and subjects, and the contemporary art scene is now quite rightly described as vibrant, international, optimistic and exciting. And there is good reason to be excited about contemporary art from Vietnam. The world-wide rise in enthusiasm has been truly phenomenal and this is the reason why there have been such spectacular price rises for the best works. Paintings sold for less than £500 ten years ago now sell for more than £30,000.
The explosion in the art market started a mere decade ago, and the increasing number of tourists since the 1990’s has a lot to do with this. In 2003, selected modern Vietnamese masterpieces were auctioned at Sotheby’s and achieved record prices. Some pieces went for over £200,000.The artistic community is looking ahead to an exciting future, and over the last few years has come to terms with its past, particularly in relation to the origins of its modern art. The Vietnamese have created art for as long as they have existed, but historically speaking, its painting is still very young.
Not surprisingly, during the years of the American war in Vietnam, artists of the northern half of the country were required to work within the limits of socialist realism and propaganda art. This has spectacularly changed and today artistic freedom reigns, and artists decide how they represent the world around them. Once you arrive in the country you will be surprised and delighted that the Vietnamese are a warm and hospitable people. They are very forgiving and have moved on, particularly from the ‘American war’. A powerful upsurge in new art forms and revitalised traditions are moving Vietnamese art in an exciting direction.
Today’s generation of artists are experimenting with many contemporary genres, even installation work. Young artists are broadening their horizons and developing distinctly Vietnamese styles that appeal to the international collector. Sell-out exhibitions of contemporary art are have been seen in most European Countries, particularly in the UK, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, Sweden, France, Norway and Holland. Around the rest of the World major collections can be found in the USA, China, Singapore, Japan, Australia and South America.