Don't call it Art!

Contemporary Art in Vietnam 1993 – 1999

Karaoke bars and noisy motorbikes, AIDS and capitalism, Buddhism and homosexuality, the allure of Western brands and a worn out country, marked by war –the works of Vietnamese artists Truong Tan, Nguyen Minh Thanh, Nguyen Quang Huy and Nguyen Van Cuong are both blunt and introspective, marked by fury and tenderness. Their work stands for a society on the brink of change – and they mark the beginning of a new art, the onset of contemporary art in Vietnam. Their unconventional works, their art performances and installations – the first ever in Vietnam – have established them as the most important protagonists of a free young art scene that emerged in Hanoi in the early 1990s. Their works have found their place not only in the collections of leading museums such as Singapore Art Museum and National Gallery Singapore, Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation New York or Fukuoka Asian Art Museum; even recent art historical surveys in Vietnam itself now honor their names as ground-breaking artists. Four extensive artist sections are the core of the book. The archive of German artist Veronika Radulovic enables us to make these radical works accessible for the first time. Don’t Call it Art! tells the initial story of four artists and thereby bridge a gap in Vietnamese art history of the 20th century.

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Don't call it Art!

September 2021

ISBN 978-3-7356-0791-1

17,5 × 23 cm

432 pages

1222 colored and 94 b/w illustrations


Languages: English

Annette Bhagwati, Veronika Radulovic

Text by
Eva Bentcheva, Annette Bhagwati, Pamela N. Corey, Veronika Radulovic

Design by
Dagmar Dunkelau, Berlin

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