Skylines With Flying People 3 (hereafter SKYLINES 3) is an interdisciplinary art project showcasing a sample of the diversity of artistic practices among young artists in Việt Nam today.
Following the success of SKYLINES 1 (2010, London) and SKYLINES 2 (2012, Hà Nội), SKYLINES 3 was initiated in 2014 and takes as its starting point notions of "journeying" and "border". The project’s title references a poem by Trần Dần – a key figure in Vietnamese avant-garde poetry - about a place with no room for imagination and freedom, written in 1988, the early years of Đổi Mới (the economic reform policy leading to Việt Nam’s ‘socialist-led market economy’):
for skylines which do not have flying people
cry again for flying people who do not have skylines”
SKYLINES 3 commences with its participating artists "flying out" of their comfort zones to go on journeys that reflect on and explore issues regarding the country's complicated history, fragmented culture, migration, exploitation of humans and nature, urbanisation, gender norms, etc.
Central to the project is an attempt to foster connections and collaborations between contemporary art and other disciplines. SKYLINES 3 brings together artists and experts and scholars from different branches of social & human sciences. Through a process of dialogue, different modes and methods of knowledge production are unveiled and exchanged, which opens up new possibilities for working and creating.
The final outcome is expected to portray the landscape of contemporary Việt Nam through the lens of artists who were born and have grown up in the period of Đổi Mới. 11 sub-projects have been realised across the country and 6 solo, duo and group exhibitions will take place consecutively between October 2016 and January 2017 at different locations in Hà Nội: the Japan Foundation, Nhà Sàn Collective, MAM-Art Projects by CUC Gallery, the Goethe Institut and Heritage Space.
Within the framework of the project, KNOWLEDGE EXCHANGE - a series of public seminars given by artists and scholars of history, literature, anthropology, archaeology and sociology from Việt Nam, Hong Kong, Denmark, Germany and the US - is taking place between March and December 2016. Understanding that different systems of knowledge can simultaneously relate them to and separate them from each other, KNOWLEDGE EXCHANGE offers insight into both creatives’ and academics’ thought processes and work approaches, revealing their similarities as well as their differences.
SKYLINES 3 is inaugurated by Nhà Sàn Collective, a non-profit artist-run art space based in Hà Nội promoting contemporary and experimental creative practices.
SKYLINES 3 expands the scope of the previous two SKYLINE editions by broadening the parameters of artistic practice, extending to the fields of social and human sciences and furthering opportunities of possible collaborations by working with national and international museums, institutes and education organisations. The outcome of these partnerships is KNOWLEDGE EXCHANGE – a seminar series fostering multilateral dialogues between the creative, the academic and the public.
Over two millenniums ago, Plato defined knowledge as “nothing other than perception” (Plato, 369 BC. Theaetetus, D1:151d8-e4). Taking this statement as its foundation, KNOWLEDGE EXCHANGE is looking to create a space for dialogue and collaboration across different disciplines and communities, so as to generate new and diverse methods of knowledge-production and –circulation. Additionally, KNOWLEDGE EXCHANGE aspires to promote the role of contemporary art in Vietnamese society today.
KNOWLEDGE EXCHANGE is taking place between March and December 2016. Joining in this series are SKYLINE 3’s participating artists as well as scholars in the fields of history, literature, anthropology, archaeology and sociology from Việt Nam, Hong Kong, Denmark, Germany and the US.
Nguyễn Thị Thanh Mai
Based in Huế, uses a variety of media including photography & video to question identity
Tạ Minh Đức
Video artist & filmmaker, explores notions of human existence, condition & relationships
Performance art group from Hà Nội, fuses elements of absurdity, theatre & everyday life
Nguyễn Trần Nam
Works across installation, text & painting to explore past & present-day Vietnamese histories
Trương Minh Quý
Based in HCMC, concerned with human existence in the contexts of the urban & non-urban
Nguyễn Quốc Thành
Visual artist & founder of Queer Forever!, explores issues of queer aesthetics & activism
Nguyễn Phương Linh
Co-founder Nhà Sàn Collective, intrigued by alternative historical perspectives of Việt Nam
PhD candidate of the Graduate Programme for Transcultural Studies of Heidelberg University
Trần Ngọc Hiếu
Lecturer at the Hà Nội National University of Education, PhD Degree in Literary Theory
Following the success of the previous two editions, SKYLINES 3 is partnering up with various national and international art spaces and cultural and academic institutions, including: Goethe Institut, Japan Foundation, MAM-Art Projects by CUC Gallery, Heritage Space, Hanoi Creative City, Manzi Art Space, Hanoi Grapevine, Queer Forever!, Hà Nội DOCLAB, Chula, MoT+++, Georg-August-University of Goettingen and the Exchange Project in Museology between Germany and Việt Nam (Mugovie) from the University of Applied Sciences Berlin.
SKYLINES 3 is honoured to receive generous funding and enthusiastic supports from organizations and individuals including: Danish Cultural Development and Exchange Fund (CDEF), Dutch Foundation Arts Collaboratory - co-founded by DOEN, Heinrich Böll Stiftung Southeast Asia, Foundation for Community Educational Media (FCEM), Abundance Foundation, Green Cities Fund, programmer Dr. Robin Wolff, Prof. Dr. Oliver Rump, Prof. Dr. Andrea Lauser, graphic designers Yoshi Nego, Lukas Zerbst, Nguyễn Anh Cường and Phan Ngọc Phương Chi, editor Fabiola Büchele, Ngân Nguyễn, Quyên Nguyễn, Nghĩa Đặng, the team at Nhà Sàn Collective including Hoàng Vũ Huyền Châu, Cầm Khánh Linh, Lê Tuấn Phi, Phùng Tiến Sơn and other volunteers, and artists, scholars and friends at home and abroad.