Vietnam Art Books -- Literature and arts in the market economy (October 19, 2004)

Literature and arts in the market economy (October 19, 2004)

There are two tasks the country faces: to train human resources and to create a healthy cultural environment. These two tasks are intertwined. People with fine characteristics will help make the cultural environment healthy. On the other hand, a healthy cultural environment will help foster and develop good virtue in each individual. Arts and literature can help the two tasks be implemented effectively.

In real life, many authentic art works have left strong impressions on several generations in society. The noble gestures and humanistic characteristics of a main character in a novel or other art works have inspired many readers or viewers. These art works have encouraged love for the homeland and the fine characteristics of humankind and the Vietnamese people. There is evidence showing negative impacts of decadent culture on the morality, ethics and life-style of a certain groups of people, particularly the young.

Art works of high value in their content and aesthetics have contributed sizably to creating a healthy cultural environment. They have also helped define some of social standards, especially in the transitional period from the command economy to the market economy.

If artists fail to fulfil their responsibilities as citizens in the face of new challenges, they will lose their touch due to the distracted nature of their art works and no longer serve the noble purpose of an art of authenticity, humanism and aesthetics.

In literature and art, besides recorded successes, many things need to be regulated and overcome. The image of worker role-models who are hard working and creative has not been comprehensively reflected in the various forms of art works. Maybe, on the pretext of catering for the contemporary art tendency and fashion and to have their works sold in the market like hot cakes, some authors have chased after the shadow of beautiful and fashionable girls and other hot societal topics for their works. Some of them have almost forgotten whom their literature and art works are intended for. On the pretext of fighting against corruption and negative phenomenon, some of the authors have included in their art works and their stories decadent individuals or groups at the expense of successful entrepreneurs and outstanding managers who have made the country stronger and wealthier. These people should be the centerpiece of the time and their lives should be revitalized in art works, like the soldiers, young volunteer women and heroic mothers during the war for national salvation.

The cultural environment has been polluted and not without reason. The general public has strongly reacted against songs that evoke the senseless lives of people who feel the bitterness of love or nothing at all, but hatred and depression without reason. It is not accidental that many people have asked where are the good poems and interesting songs that have entered the hearts of millions of people to encourage them to have a more meaningful life for society and to balance their own interests with their responsibility. What is more important than conforming to our peopleís traditions and aesthetics? Though the authorities have taken action against decadent cultural works, including CDs, VCDs, video tapes and others, they still run rampant in our society, particularly on the internet.

When accepted standard norms are not fully respected, it is difficult to orient aesthetic appraisal - a prerequisite for fostering a healthy cultural environment. This is the responsibility of artists and composers, especially critics. Regrettably, regarding this domain, the media has not acted strong enough to influence the population. They need the critics to come up with a good analysis of the good and bad points in works of art and literature so that they themselves can draw their own opinions on the value of the works, not meaningless or hostile arguments. The populationís weakness in aesthetic appreciation, first of all, is attributable to the responsibility of the creators as the general public has always enjoyed an art work of high quality and appreciated it heartily.

Reprinted from VOV News


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