Founder

Tia – Thuỷ Nguyễn graduated from the Vietnam University of Fine Art, Hanoi in 2006 and gained a PhD in Fine Art from the National Academy of Fine Art and Architecture, Kiev, Ukraine in 2014.

Working predominantly in painting and installation, compelled by the forces of natural phenomena and its spiritual connotations across various cultures, Tia’s creative practice also encompasses fashion and film. In the fashion world she is known as ‘Thủy Nguyễn’, working as lead designer and founder of  ‘THUY DESIGN HOUSE’, since 2011, a prominent fashion house in Vietnam today. Since  2016, Thủy Nguyễn also began to work on various feature films – as co-producer, consultant, and costume design – such as ‘Cô Ba Sài Gòn’ (2017); ‘Song Lang’ (2018), ‘Quỳnh Hoa Nhất Dạ’ (2020). going on to found ‘Pink Studio’ production house in 2020.

Tia-Thủy Nguyễn believes Art is for everyone, which led her to establish ‘The Factory Contemporary Arts Centre’ in 2016 – ‘It’s important to me to build an art network in Vietnam that helps inspire and educate the people by bringing art closer to the community’. By adding The Factory’s concept to Vietnam’s art scene, her ambition is to provide a multicultural space where ideas can be shared, nourished and grow.

In 2019, Thủy Nguyễn was listed as one of the fifty most influential women by Forbes Vietnam for her work and contribution to design, visual arts and creative business.

Artistic Director

Zoe Butt is a curator, writer, speaker and educator who lives in Vietnam. Her curatorial practice centres on building critically thinking and historically conscious artistic communities, fostering dialogue among countries of the global south. Currently Artistic Director of the Factory Contemporary Arts Centre, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam’s first purpose-built space for contemporary art, Zoe formerly served as Executive Director and Curator, Sàn Art, Ho Chi Minh City (2009–2016); Director, International Programs, Long March Project, Beijing (2007–2009); and Assistant Curator, Contemporary Asian Art, Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane (2001–2007) – this latter post particularly focused on the development of its Asia-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art. Her work has been published by Hatje Cantz; ArtReview; Independent Curators International; ArtAsiaPacific; Printed Project; Lalit Kala Akademi; JRP-Ringier; Routledge; and Sternberg Press, among others. Her curatorial projects include interdisciplinary dialogue platforms such as Conscious Realities (2013-2016); the online exhibition Embedded South(s) (2016); and group exhibitions of Vietnamese and international artists at various international venues. Recent exhibitions include Sharjah Biennial 14: Leaving the Echo Chamber – Journey Beyond the Arrow, (2019); Interface: Oanh Phi Phi (2019); Empty Forest: Tuan Andrew Nguyen (2018); Spirit of Friendship (2017) and Poetic Amnesia: Thao Nguyen Phan (2017). As a regular public speaker and educator, Zoe’s curatorial endeavors also include interdisciplinary dialogue platforms such as Realigning the Cosmos (2020-); Conscious Realities (2013-2016); and the online exhibition Embedded South(s) (2016). Zoe is a member of the Asian Art Council for the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York and in 2015 was named a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum.

Assistant Curator

Bill Nguyễn is an artist-curator interested in researching and developing an alternative, locally-driven method and platform for curation in Vietnam. After graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Studio) from the School of Art and Design, Nottingham Trent University (UK), Bill returned to Hanoi in 2008, re-entering the scene through multiple trajectories in the art community: engaging as an artist, curator and educator. Between 2009 and 2011, he designed educational workshops for Hanoi DOCLAB – Centre for Experimental video and documentary filmmaking. In 2012, he co-founded Manzi Art Space (Hanoi), and started collaborating with Nhà Sàn Collective (Hanoi) as guest curator. Currently assistant curator at The Factory, his select recent projects include: ‘We’re in this together’ – a ‘Pollination’ project (co-curated with Grace Samboh), The Factory, Ho Chi Minh City (2018), ’Spirit of Friendship’ (co-curated with Zoe Butt & Lê Thiên Bảo), The Factory, Ho Chi Minh City (2017), ‘0395A.ĐC: A solo exhibition by Ly Hoàng Ly’, The Factory, Ho Chi Minh City (2017), ’Skylines With Flying People 3′, Nhà Sàn Collective, Hanoi (2016); ‘Into Thin Air’, Manzi, Hanoi (2016). He is an alumnus of the 8th Berlin Biennial Young Curators Workshop, and the CuratorsLAB initiated by the Goethe Institut South East Asia.

Curatorial Assistant

Lê Thuận Uyên is an independent researcher and curator currently living and working in Hanoi. Her work investigates alternative histories of Vietnam, bringing to light personal narratives rendered absent, unknown or undesirable by the official historical record. Her projects often involve close collaboration with artists and investigate current socio-political contexts and their impact on artistic production in Vietnam. From 2014–2016 she was general manager of Nhà Sàn Collective — an artist-founded institution that aims to create room for new forms of expression, production and exchange. Her curatorial projects include: Gang of Five Chancing Modern (Hanoi, 2017), Sindikat Campursari (Jakarta, 2016), Embedded South(s) (2016), Miền Méo Miệng (Umea, 2015), Skylines With Flying People 3 (Hanoi, 2015-17),… Lê holds a BA in Politics from the University of York and MA in Cultural and Creative Industries from King’s College London. She was a resident curator at Art in General (NYC) from April–August 2017 through a fellowship with the Asian Cultural Council.

Curatorial Assistant

Vân Đỗ (b. 1995, Hanoi) is a curator and writer. After 23 years of living and growing up in Hanoi, she moved to Saigon in 2019 and has been curatorially assisting The Factory ever since. She has been intellectually nurtured by various alternative educational and artistic platforms and individuals. While in Hanoi, she labored with independent art spaces such as Hanoi Doclab and DomDom in their Hanoi Docfest 2017 and Hanoi New Music Festival 2018 respectively. Her recent projects include: co-curator with Hà Ninh, group exhibition ‘Virtual Private Realms’ (Manzi Art Space, 2021); curator, film screening ‘An Ode to the Microscopic’ (Dcine, 2020); co-editor with Linh Lê, Măng Ta Journal (2020); co-curator with Lê Thuận Uyên, ‘Leaf Picking in the Ancient Forest’, solo exhibition by Võ Trân Châu (The Factory, 2020); curator, ‘Silent Intimacy’, solo exhibition by Đặng Thuỳ Anh (The Factory, 2019); producer, short films ‘Evenfall’ and ‘Film no. 3’ by Tạ Minh Đức (2018-19).

Registrar/Designer 

Nhung Lê is the Registrar/Designer of the Arts Centre at The Factory. With near 10 years experience of working as an art handler, designer and registrar, Nhung Lê is one of the few in Vietnam with experience in international shipments of contemporary art, with particular expertise in exhibition design and installation. Previously she was Gallery Assistant and Designer for San Art in Ho Chi Minh City. Her print design work can be found with all San Art publications, such as the ‘Conscious Realities’ reader; and most recently The Factory exhibition catalog for Phan Thảo Nguyên’s ‘Poetic Amnesia’.