The Nguyen Art Foundation is proud to present ‘People, Victory and Life after the War’, an art exhibition showcasing war sketches and contemporary artworks from its collection. The exhibition is the first public showing of the collection and marks the opening of two dedicated Art Spaces, an initiative of the Nguyen Art Foundation in partnership with the EMASI Schools.
Curated by Ms Gridthiya Gaweewong and students from Renaissance International School, EMASI International School, Nam Long and Van Phuc Campus, the exhibition aimed to use the curatorial process and exhibition-making as educational tools to engage students participation and ultimately enhance the art appreciation and visual experience. A secondary objective was to work with the collection as a way to encourage students to learn about Vietnam’s art history in association with its social and political context.
Students were encouraged to select the works from the Nguyen Art collection, rationalize their choices and group them together through online meetings and a workshop. Based on this experiment, the exhibition slowly took shape. Its title was inspired by one of the students who encapsulated the sentiments of younger generations towards Vietnamese socio-political history.
Questions raised during the process include how historical artists reflected on their own artworks in today’s context, and how young contemporary artists perceived the memories of the war and, most importantly, how students and the young generation relate to this part of history. The curator collaborated with students, art teachers and the staff to stage the exhibition online during Covid–19.
‘People, Victory and Life after the War’ focus on the past, present and imagined future of Vietnamese artistic practices and was constructed in two chapters, hosted simultaneously at EMASI Nam Long and Van Phuc campus throughout the 2021 school calendar.
The first chapter focuses directly on the American war memory and experiences, with close-up perspectives rendered in war sketches by Army artists and contemporary works by young artists from Vietnam and beyond. The second chapter focuses on war sketches of people, daily lives in the war zone and landscapes juxtaposed with works by contemporary artists who dealt with their distant, abstract and spatial memories about the war experience and its remnants. Both chapters demonstrate the interplay of reflexive memory which slowly shifted from the close-up to lonter shot and panoramic views that both manifest transgeneration of artists perception, imagination and sub-consciousness in a border context.
The two-chapter exhibition attempts to establish a dialog among trans-generations of artists, art lovers and students and features 24 artists with more than 100 historical war drawings and contemporary art from the Nguyen Art Foundation Collection.
The exhibition will be on view from March 2021 to April 2022.
Special thanks to the participant students, art teachers, MoT+++ team and to the Post Vidai Collection.
Chapter #1: Bàng Nhất Linh, Chu Thảo, Đỉnh Q. Lê, Laurent Weyl, Lê Quý Tông, Nguyễn Huy An, Nguyễn Quốc Chánh, Phạm Thanh Tâm, The Propeller Group, Trâm Carin Lương, Trương Công Tùng, Võ An Khánh and Vương Duy Khoái
Bùi Duy Khánh, Cian Duggan, Doãn Hoàng Lâm, Đỗ Thị Ninh, Hà Ninh Phạm, Lê Quốc Thành, Lê Quý Tông, Nguyễn Phương Linh, Nguyễn Văn Cường, Phạm Thanh Tâm, Thảo Nguyên Phan, Tuấn Mami, Trương Hiếu and Tuýp Trần
About the curator
Gridthiya Gaweewong is a Bangkok-based curator, currently the artistic director of the Jim Thompson Art Center in Thailand. She co-founded an independent art organization, Project 304 in 1996 after receiving her MAAA (Master of Arts in Administrations and Policy) from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Gaweewong has curated numerous exhibitions including Under Construction (Tokyo, 2000-2002), Politics of Fun at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin (2005), the Bangkok Experimental Film Festival (1997–2007), the Saigon Open City in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (2006-2007) and Unreal Asia, Oberhausen International Short Film Festival (2009 and Between Utopia and Dystopia, MUAC, Mexico City (2011) among others. She has recently curated The Serenity of Madness, a solo exhibition of Apichatpong Weerasethakul, produced by Independent Curators International (ICI), New York, MAIIAM Contemporary Art Museum, Chiangmai, and travelled to Manila, Hong Kong, Chicago, Oklahoma, Portugal and Taipei.(2016-2019). Recently, she served as the curatorial team of the 12th Gwangju Biennale, South Korea, and curated the exhibition Facing Phantom Borders.