Hanoi: Embarking in a new direction to bring art closer to the public at heritage spaces
Update: Oct 03, 2022
An exhibition entitled ‘Calligraphy – Graffiti Dialogue’ is taking place at Hanoi’s Van Mieu - Quoc Tu Giam (Temple of Literature), receiving positive response from the public.

Two artists join hands to create an artwork at the exhibition (Photo: baodantoc.vn)

The event is co-hosted by the Van Mieu - Quoc Tu Giam Centre for Cultural and Scientific Activities and the Vietnam National Institute of Culture and Arts Studies.

On the occasion, Director of the Van Mieu - Quoc Tu Giam Centre for Cultural and Scientific Activities Le Xuan Kieu granted an interview to the Thoi Nay (Today) publication of Nhan Dan (The People) Newspaper to talk more about the exhibition and the centre’s efforts

Question: can you tell us about the idea of combining the traditional art form of calligraphy with graffiti – a modern art which is often seen in streets and public spaces – into an exhibition?

Director Le Xuan Kieu: We embarked on this exhibition with the hope to find a new direction for activities held at the Temple of Literature, which is set to become a creative space. We want to change visitors’ perspectives on calligraphy and graffiti, which are not yet fully understood among the public.

We also seek to find out common features between calligraphy and graffiti in creating valuable artworks while generating fresh feelings for visitors to the Temple of Literature.

How did the organisers manage to devise the idea of creating a smooth dialogue between calligraphy and graffiti?

We picked suitable topics in which the two art forms can meet each other and deliver a common message for visitors.

We also closely coordinated with participating artists to inspire their creativity and motivation during their working process.

It is also important to sort out artists working in the two art forms. They are young and popular faces, mainly from the 9X generation from Hanoi, Da Nang and Ho Chi Minh City.

In the field of calligraphy, we invited calligraphers Ngau Thu Nguyen Thanh Tung, Vo Tuan Xuan Thanh, and Nguyen Huu Phap. As for graffiti, we have the participation of Do The Thanh, Nguyen Tan Luc, Trang Nhon Khoa, and Luu Doan Duy Linh. They are all dedicated artists with an open-minded spirit who are willing to welcome new approaches.

A visitor admiring artworks on display at the exhibition (Photo: VNA)

How do you feel about this approach?

The artists' three-month working process left strong emotions for me. It must be said that the dialogue they created is very interesting and it has opened up new directions in combining different forms of arts in heritage spaces, offering visitors the opportunity to admire beautiful works with profound messages.

Can you tell us about the reactions of visitors?

Visitors have had very positive feedbacks, especially young people. We have welcomed a large number of visitors. We have also received comments with lots of love and respect for the artists while expressing surprise and interest in the combination of calligraphy and graffiti.

Can you tell us about what have gained from the exhibition and upcoming projects of the Temple of Literature?

Artworks on display at the exhibition (Photo: vietnamnet.vn)

So far, it can be said that the exhibition has been a success, which proves that our experiment is completely right. From this exhibition, we will continue to explore new approaches to organise cultural activities which can promote creativity while combining different art forms.

In October, we will hold the exhibition entitled ‘The stories of stone steles’ with the hope to provide visitors with a closer look into the information carved in the stone steles at the Temple of Literature.

Thank you so much for your sharing!

The ‘Calligraphy – Graffiti Dialogue’ exhibition features 39 works of calligraphy and graffiti. The works are arranged like a story about two people with different personalities and the dialogue which brings them together to empathise and share with each other.

Ngo Khiem - Translated by NDO

NDO - en.nhandan.vn - September 30, 2022