How well do we understand familiar places? In certain cases, it is still easy to recognize something special about a place that seems old. Like today – while it has been raining nonstop since morning, a storm is coming – at RMIT University’s Hanoi campus, among the crowds of students and office staff is a conspicuous and precious presence. of works of art.
At the reception area, guests and students encountered fresh colors in Tran Van Thao’s paintings. At the Student Support Center is the wit of Nguyen Manh Hung on a large canvas. In the Graduate School: three works by Phan Thao Nguyen reflecting on beliefs. Sculpture by Dinh Cong Dat is in the library. On the walls of the Wellness and Psychology room are abstract figures in soft colors, and even a skeleton (in a painting by Richard Streitmatter-Tran).
Part of RMIT’s collection, these works (and several others) have transformed the school’s educational institutions in both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Ho Chi Minh City into a sort of art exhibition (or even a ‘treasure hunt’ for curious students). The everyday space is given a new layer of space, a ‘stillness’ to a busy environment, as well as inspiration to pay attention, to think, to ask questions, to seek information, and to be creative. .
“Being among works of art certainly encourages self-expression.” – Michal Teague (Lecturer of Design Studies, Faculty of Communication & Design – SCD).
“I just saw a group of students dancing in front of a work on the ground floor.” – Dr. Emma Duester added, she is Michal’s colleague at SCD and a Lecturer in Professional Communication.
Michal and Emma are curators of No Clouds, No Rain, an exhibition featuring 30 works from the RMIT Collection of contemporary Vietnamese art. Taking place at the Vietnam Women’s Museum, the show marks the first time that works from the collection have appeared outside of the RMIT campus. Today, I had the opportunity to interview Michal and Emma to understand more about the exhibition, as well as about their work in the Vietnamese arts and culture community.
I think the works on the campus itself have a certain impact on the students.. In the library, they often sit around and study around the paintings and some sculptures.
Furthermore, when teaching, we don’t want to always use examples from Western culture – even though it’s the familiar environment in which we grew up. We are also interested in other approaches – through works in our collections, through field trips, etc. – to emphasize the importance of Vietnamese artistic and cultural traditions. , including heritage and contemporary practices.
Recently Michal and I also conducted research on the digitization of documents and collections of cultural and art organizations in Vietnam; Through this study, it is clear how important it is to have a digital platform.