RMIT Vietnam’s contemporary art collection exposes both students and the wider community to a generation of important contemporary Vietnamese artists.
RMIT Vietnam’s collection of over 50 art works is not only historically important, but something that will continue to foster an understanding of Vietnamese culture for generations to come.
RMIT Vietnam President Professor Gael McDonald spoke recently of the contribution the collection makes to the wider community.
“It’s not only a university’s role to focus on students, staff, and the industry relationships that make up its core business – but also to be respectful of the local and international community in which it exists,” Professor McDonald said.
“RMIT University has a long history of supporting the arts and it is with great pride that I have been able to whole-heartedly support the latest additions to our Vietnamese art collection.”
By making the collection accessible in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, Professor McDonald hopes the University can encourage debate and discussion around the importance of these artists’ works.
As the collection’s curatorial advisor and also a practicing artist, Mr Richard Streitmatter-Tran said he was extremely proud.
“The collection focuses on contemporary Vietnamese art and those artists working and living in Vietnam, from emerging artists born in the 90s to established artists now in their seventies, and includes work in painting, sculpture and new media,” Richard said.
“We were particularly keen on artists that were actively producing work with strong exhibition histories and those works that comment on the changes occurring in Vietnam, as opposed to, for example, decorative art that would only reinforce traditional stereotypes.
“One example would be the new media work by Nguyen Hong Ngoc, a young video artist who was actively engaged in researching the social and environmental changes happening in her birth home of Thai Nguyen province, where coal mining has been a major industry.
“In her video, she performs a traditional dance, but reinterprets it using the latest 3D mapping technology, and examines the role of women and heroines in Vietnamese culture,” he added.
Richard believes that RMIT’s Contemporary Vietnamese Art Collection is among the most prestigious collections of its kind worldwide and was confident that RMIT students, faculty and the public would continue to enjoy and benefit from it.
Story: Ha Hoang