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’):

“I cry 
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.