Created in the ‘spirit of friendship’, www.spiritoffriendship.org endeavors to be a historical archive documenting the role and contribution of artist friendships in furthering the development of experimental languages in Vietnam, since 1975. As an online bilingual resource, it is also conceived as an ongoing program platform of The Factory Contemporary Arts Centre, whereby exhibitions and educational activities, related to these ‘artist-groups’, are curated and made public.
On the site, you will find artist-group biographical information, quotes from various artists, documentary imagery and video, related exhibition histories, historical timeline (with relevant social milestones), critical essays and creative writing on this unique artistic landscape.
‘Spirit of Friendship’ is by no means comprehensive, rather it is conceived as a research project desiring a deeper and broader exploration of Vietnam’s art history, so as to better understand from whence we come and from here, where and why do we move forward.
The inaugural chapter of ‘Spirit of Friendship’ takes place at The Factory (29 September – 26 November 2017) as an ‘exhibition as introduction’, celebrating the Vietnamese artistic community’s resilient ingenuity, which has sought innovative means of building audiences for art within a socio-political context that clandestinely monitors their public (and at times private), activity. This exhibition is marked by individual reflection of collective artistic labor and its supportive networks, in turn evidencing how these perspectives are propelled by, and operate in response to: the tension between internal and external social assumptions; between those who remained and those who fled; between honesty and (self)censorship; between ambition and earning a livelihood – these being but a few of the persistent dilemmas that continue to characterize Vietnam’s experimental art scene today. Detailed information and documentation of the exhibition can be found here.