Vietnam Art Books -- Young Visions 2002 -- Choosing the top young artists of Vietnam
By: Nguyen My Thanh

Young Visions 2002 -- Choosing the top young artists of Vietnam
By: Nguyen My Thanh

Two of Vietnam’s most promising young artists shared the top prize in Young Visions 2002, a joint France/Vietnam juried exhibition. The second annual competition welcomed Vietnamese artists under the age of 35 working in a number of disciplines.

Painters Nguyen Phuong Mai and Nguyen Van Chuyen won the first prize of a two months art internship in France from the Embassy of France. Luu Chi Hieu and Nguyen Nghia Phuong captured the third prize and consultation prize, respectively, with a cash award and a selection of art books.

The judges faced a daunting task in choosing the eventual winners from an eclectic field. The short list alone included 51 works, including 41 paintings and drawings by 14 painters, and 6 sculptural works by two sculptors.

The jury of the final round included painter Vu Giang Huong, painter Tran Duy Oanh, painter Dang Xuan Hoa, representatives of the Vietnamese Fine Art Association and Mrs. Dominique Pizzini and Mrs. Kate de Ruty, representatives of the French Embassy in Hanoi.
Presented at the Contemporary Modern Art Centre, the art entries ranged from works in oil, lacquer, silk, do paper and zinc, with large-sized exhibits in a wide range of styles and ideas.

Mr. Tran Huy Oanh, Deputy Secretary of the Vietnam Fine Art Association and a member of the jury said, “Compared with the first Young Vision (2001), the entries this time are more equal in quality and the gap between them is not large. Many works touch more profoundly on social issues.”

Artists reaching the final round of competition included: Nguyen Van Chuyen, Le Phuong Dung, Ly Tran Quynh Giang, Luu Chi Hieu, Nguyen Phuong Mai, Nguyen Nghia Phuong, Nguyen Duy Quang, Nguyen Dinh Quang, Ngo Van Sac, Vuong Van Thao, Vu Thang, Ha Manh Thang, and Nguyen Mai Tho; two from Ho Chi Minh City, Luong Luu Bien, Le Tung Quan; and two from Hue, Dam Dang Lai, Le Nhon.

Young Vision 2002 was co-organized by the Vietnamese Fine Art Association, the Embassy of France, the Centre for French Language and Civilization in Hanoi and the French Consulate in Ho Chi Minh City to encourage and promote creation by young Vietnamese painters.

Interview with Vu Giang Huong

Mrs. Vu Giang Huong, Vice Chairperson of the National Committee for Union of Literature and Art Associations and a member of the jury had this to say:

Can you please tell us about the criteria for deciding the winners of “Young Vision 2002”?

Huong: We base our decisions on two criteria. The first is composition and color and the second is ideas. The ideas are not restricted to a certain theme. They may be any outlooks of the painters on life but must be pure and healthy.
There are some opinions that say some young painters attempt to model their works on the style of their ASEAN colleagues to win the prize. Do you agree with this opinion? Is that becoming a new trend among Vietnamese young painters?

Huong: I think that painters in ASEAN countries have many things in common. Some countries such as Indonesia have their uniquely traditional style. Vietnamese painting when integrated into regional painting still retains its own peculiarities and a different outlook on life and is not limited within ASEAN countries. It is influenced by different trends in the world. However, influences among ASEAN countries are inevitable. Some entries in this competition are influenced too. Their works may be displayed but unlikely to win prize. As the chairperson of Young Vision 2001, how can you compare between Young Vision 2001 and Young Vision 2002? Huong: At this year competition the entries are of higher quality. There are more young painters, including even students and new graduates. I think it’s a good sign while we need more works of the young generation. That’s also what I am thinking about the contemporary painting. The young generation has discovered what we have failed so far. The old generation has a dim prospect of producing great works and expects the young to fill the gap. We are considering the organization and sponsoring of creative activities in this year and the next. We must do something to promote great works and works that are based on reality by the young. Ideas are the weakness of young painters. They are good at experimenting with new artistic styles but weak at finding the idea to reflect life profoundly. That’s not strange. They are young and inexperienced. They never knew wars or hardships, and think differently from the old generation, especially about the influences of the market economy. Some repeat the same style and make money mass production. In this competition some actually do so, but the majority, such as the winners, create their own signature and outlook.

It is said that in the early rounds, the jury chose qualifiers by their photographed paintings. So there will be a gap between genuine paintings and photos. What has the jury planned to tackle this matter next year?

Huong: We plan to hold 2003 Young Vision in Ho Chi Minh City and Young Vision 2004 in Hue. That will create more opportunities of exchanges among young painters because they have access to the real-life paintings. Our committee will stipulate the age of entries between 20 and 35. In the qualifier rounds, the jury will still choose qualifiers by their photos. There are certainly problems because the photos are never the same as the true paintings. But if in the first place we judge the real paintings, transport will be a problem for the far-away painters. As a result, candidates should prepare their photos well beforehand. I think that next year only two works by selected entries will be displayed and the candidates have to choose among their paintings for just two. We hope that the next Young Vision competition will draw more and higher quality entries.
Nguyen Van Chuyen
Nguyen Phuong Mai


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