Vietnam News

Sotheby’s to organise first exhibition in Vietnam

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“Timeless Souls: Beyond the Voyage – Hon Xua Ben La”, the first exhibition by Sotheby’s in Vietnam, will take place at Park Hyatt Saigon in Ho Chi Minh City from July 11-14.

“Timeless Souls: Beyond the Voyage – Hon Xua Ben La”, the first exhibition by Sotheby’s in Vietnam, will take place at Park Hyatt Saigon in Ho Chi Minh City from July 11-14.

The exhibition features over 50 works by Le Thi Luu (1911 – 1988), Le Pho (1907 – 2001), Mai Trung Thu (1906 – 1980), and Vu Cao Dam (1908 – 2000), the four renowned early generation graduates from the École des Beaux-Arts de l’Indochine (Indochina School of Fine Arts), who migrated to France in early 20th century.

With a mission to foster cultural dialogue between artists and the local community, Sotheby’s Modern Art specialists selected Ace Le, an independent researcher and writer on Vietnamese art, to co-curate this public exhibition as a platform for all to learn more about the local arts and culture through the eyes of some of the world’s most talented artists in the region.

“This is a milestone for the Vietnamese art community across all levels,” Ace comments. “I am honoured to be recognised by Sotheby’s, a global market leader who has such passion and respect for our local arts and cultural heritage, and keen to add local insights to such as a significant exhibition.”

These works of the exhibition illustrate the years of these artists living abroad, a narrative that reflects how the maestros channelled their longing for home with familiar subject matters constructed from intricate threads of memories of Vietnam – plants and landscapes, families and rituals, culture and architecture, values and philosophy while weaving new perspectives from their journey in France.

Nathan Drahi, Managing Director, Sotheby’s Asia, said: “We are proud to stage Sotheby’s very first exhibition in Vietnam, in the vibrant town of HCM City, where we hope to reconnect the public with its rich cultural heritage through these exceptional and local works of art.”

Jasmine Prasetio, Managing Director, Sotheby’s Southeast Asia, said: “Sotheby’s has been cultivating the Southeast Asian art market for over two decades and we are proud to have brought some of the most remarkable works by regional artists onto the international platform. We recognise the importance of Vietnam as a cultural wellspring and its rapidly growing collector base with a passion for collecting and a thirst for knowledge. It is Sotheby’s privilege to share our expertise, information and experience, with new and established collectors, and it is our hope to contribute to this educational endeavour by holding this non-selling exhibition.”

Among the many rapidly growing economies in the region, there is a burgeoning demand and interest in Vietnamese art globally. Having recently set a new artist record for Le Pho at the Hong Kong Spring Sales, Sotheby’s now holds the top three auction prices for any Vietnamese artworks.

Established in 1744, Sotheby’s is the world’s premier destination for art and luxury. Sotheby’s promotes access to and ownership of exceptional art and luxury objects through auctions and buy-now channels including private sales, e-commerce and retail.

Ace Le is a prominent figure in the local art community who facilitates discussions on the authentication, valuation and identification of Vietnamese modern art. With an MA in Museum Studies and Curatorial Practices from Nanyang Technological University, Ace is the Founding Director of the Lan Tinh Foundation, a non-profit organisation dedicated to the research, archival and exhibition of Vietnamese art. He is also Editor-in-Chief at Art Republik Vietnam.

Vietnam News Agency – July 8, 2022

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