Vietnamese art is undergoing a revolution.
The people of Saigon have actively embraced new tools of expression in the digital age. This allows them to create graphic art which reflects the eccentricities of Vietnamese culture.
By embracing abstract imagery that fearlessly expresses changes in traditions and ideals.
Vietnamese art has traditionally been focused on the country’s history and culture in concrete terms.
The advent of graphic tablets and tools have enabled artists to create more abstract images which fully express the attitudes of the people – sometimes with dramatic results.
Take a look at the three artists we recommend following on Instagram.
#1 Vietnamese Art – Sithzam
The title of this piece, A Blue Mouse, understates the imagination of its artist. Sith Zam (@sithzam) created this abstract piece using an iPad pro and the app: procreate. He uses opposing colours on the colour wheel to create his striking images.
This one shows a mouse with a residential street, a bird, flowers, and stars adorned on its body. With a mischievous grin on its face, it stares into the distance.
The slightly less bizarre second picture below shows two cats on a counter with strange fumes oozing out of bottles. The cats’ eyes stretch across their faces, which look vacant yet giddy. Perhaps these fumes are responsible for our warped perception of the scene.
#2 – Purpletarocat
There’s no margin for error when using pens with fine tip, but when used effectively it’s worth it:
This Vietnamese artist uses them to create a stark contrast between her subjects and the background.
Purpletarocat’s “doodles” often feature small details which her pens allow her to get onto paper. Her love of this style began in childhood.
“I collect a new marker every time I go to a bookstore. I’ve been using them since I was a a kid (hehe)”
With an imagination nearly as bright as her name, Purpletarocat takes ordinary like animals and objects and applies an abstract look similar to Japanese anime.
To celebrate the turn of the new year, she created this colourful assortment of mice who seem strangely optimistic about what opportunities await.
#3 – Motquatac
Modern Vietnamese artists are becoming more confident expressing mental health problems, which was previously a taboo topic.
Even traditional art forms are being reinterpreted by new artists. Mot Qua Tuc (@motquatac) uses watercolours on silk to invigorate traditional art with a modern style. This lends her art a subdued look, which contrasts with the topics covered.
The subjects in her pieces are usually undergoing stressful situations:
Such as losing a tooth or being mid-bite into a grasshopper (with bees in unfortunate places…)
Enjoy the art here?
A place for contemporary art in Saigon is the Lotus Gallery in District 1. It’s a small gallery which helps local young artists show their works.
Many thanks to the artists who shared their work with me. You can find these artists through Instagram where they have plenty more pieces for you to explore.
Like what you see? Consider taking a look at the beautiful architecture of Saigon as well.