Art in the Age of Doi Moi
This project presents an array of documents pertaining to the period of Vietnamese History known as Doi Moi or Renovation. Doi Moi refers to the decision made by the Vietnamese Communist Party’s VIth Party Congress to liberalize the Vietnamese economy and allow growth in the private sector. Although art and culture were never addressed at the Congress proper, the impetus for change in cultural policy was made official at that time. There is still some debate over the exact dates and the exact nature of renovation in art. Some consider liberalization in art to have taken place a decade earlier after the country was reunified and artists from the North were exposed to the works of their colleagues in the South. Others see renovation taking place under the editorship of Nguyen Quan at the journal My Thuat from 1984-1989. What is certain is that Vietnamese art has gradually been released from government control since the early 1980s culminating in Vietnamese contemporary artists participation in today’s global art market.
The documents presented here were assembled by Natalia Kraevskaia, owner and co-director of Salon Natasha, Hanoi’s first non-governmental art space; Dr. Nora Taylor, Art Historian, School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Dr. Boitran Huynh-Beattie, independent curator, Sydney, Australia. They include records of the activities of Salon Natasha in the form of photographs, artists’ portfolios and exhibition materials. They also include copies of the Saigon edition of the journal My Thuat (Fine Art) and two video interviews of Natalia Kraevskaia and former Secretary Luong Xuan Doan.
Salon Natasha played an instrumental role in fostering experimental art practices in Hanoi. The “Salon” was housed in the home of artist Vu Dan Tan and Natalia Kraevskaia on Hang Bong street, in the heart of the capital. It had been Tan’s childhood family home as well and later his studio. The couple opened their home to artists in 1984 and began creating an exhibition program that included thematic shows, one person retrospectives and commissioned work. The door to the space was always open to visitors and guests who were welcomed with tea and candy. Salon Natasha was unique in that it was not managed by a government organization and therefore was not about State politics. And yet, thanks to outsider status and its nurturing of unofficial art practices, more than any institution it stood for the concept of renovation in art.
To learn more about Đổi Mới, please see Dr. Nora A. Taylor's "What is ̣Đổi Mới in Art?"
- Invitation to the exhibition of works by Van Giao devoted to the 103 birth anniversary of Ho Chi Minh, This item digitized and made available online with funds provided by United States Department of Education, TICFIA (Technological Innovation and Cooperation for Foreign Information) Grant P337A090018.
- This item digitized and made available online with funds provided by United States Department of Education, TICFIA (Technological Innovation and Cooperation for Foreign Information) Grant P337A090018., These photos feature the general view of Salon Natasha. In the early 90's Salon Natasha was the only exhibiting space free from the government supervision and opened to the new spirit of artistic freedom and innovations. In this context the goal of the Salon was to respond to growing social and artistic change and to introduce to public new directions and innovations in art. Salon Natasha was established in 1990 by Russian emigre Natasha (Natalia) Kraevskaia and her husband, the artist Vu Dan Tan. Located in the home of its owners' family, Salon served as Vu Dan Tan's studio, a meeting place for artists, intellectuals and public and a venue for modern, young, experimental and non-commercial art. It was known for its intriguing combination of art and daily life and the commitment to showing the works that are different from the mainstream. Salon also tried to support collaborative forms in art which was not typical for Vietnamese art scene of that epoch. It was also a space where the foreign art with the definite links to Vietnam had been first introduced in the capital
- This item digitized and made available online with funds provided by United States Department of Education, TICFIA (Technological Innovation and Cooperation for Foreign Information) Grant P337A090018., In 90s Vietnamese artists still needed approval and permission from the special department of Ministry of Culture to bring their art works for the exhibitions abroad. This authorization is given to Vu Dan Tan and Le Hong Thai to bring their art works.