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Le Thanh Tung (Crazy Monkey)

I realize what I learned from traditional art with what I’m doing now with digital art shares the same creative process, and same aesthetic root.

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Digital environment as an "Escape Portal"

by Le Thanh Tung (Crazy Monkey)


I'm Le Thanh Tung, aka Crazy Monkey, I'm a visual artist, Creative Director and founder of visual studio BOX Collective. I was born in Hanoi, but now live and work in Ho Chi Minh City, South of Vietnam. I started my career as an Illustrator about 10 years ago. And now, I work with real-time graphic software such as SMODE, Unreal Engine, Resolume and Notch. I’ve practiced seriously in real time computer graphic in the last 6 years.

With real-time graphics, I'm particularly interested in Volumetric and have applied that technology a lot in works. I often collaborate with dancers to capture their Volumetric images and use it as my aesthetic materials.

For me, it's about saving cultural values into a digital format and that process always amazes me. Also I started doing NFTs artwork to learn about how that market works. As you can see now is my latest NFT collection called CULTURE. It’s now on the Foundation website.

The transition from traditional art tools to real-time graphics took about 2 years. I have to learn a lot of things from the beginning. However, once I reach the point where I use real-time graphic software a bit confidently, I realize what I learned from traditional art with what I’m doing now with digital art shares the same creative process, and same aesthetic root.

With the help of technology, I have found many possibilities for my art creation.

The art is not static but can transform dynamically. The artwork is no longer limited to a 2D canvas, but it can be displayed in many different formats, surfaces and forms.

Along with the explosion of internet and technology in Vietnam, the presence of "screens" from personal devices, from LED screens, or computers where people look at them every day to communicate and work, has created a new "creative space" for digital artists like me.

Those creative spaces create new possibilities for the display of artwork, which in my opinion are difficult for traditional art forms to keep up with. The combination of technology and art has no precedent in Vietnam, when people have only been touched by this concept in the last few years.

In a country where you will have to be careful with your words, the digital environment is an "escape portal" for young Vietnamese artists. When technology is the daily breath, it is really easy to reach the higher levels in that space, such as technology & art.

That is why digital art content is of such widespread interest. The explosion of Virtual Reality content during social distancing, or the digital currency technology that created NFTs, building an unprecedented P2P art exchange base, will be a revolution in content creation and will be applied widely in future art markets.

For me, as a Vietnamese artist, when I stand in front of that picture, I'm really overwhelmed and excited. I still want to preserve my traditional art heritage, but will find ways to combine them with technological trends. Technology has changed the world, and now it's going to change art.

The forms of art production, art archiving, and art trade will radically change.



Le Thanh Tung (aka Crazy Monkey) is a Visual Artist and Creative Director currently working in Ho Chi Minh City. With more than 15 years of experience in the field of Design - Creative, in recent years Tung has been trying to level up his art projects with the application of new technologies. For most projects, Tung uses volumetric display technology to duplicate his perspective into the digital graphics space. Tung's art and technology projects have been exhibited and performed in many countries around the world, such as the London Design Biennale in the UK, the South Wind Rise exhibition in Taiwan, and Disembedding at the HOW Art Museum, China. With extensive experience in real-time computer graphics, Tung is currently digging into other new high-tech trends such as Generative Computer Graphics, NFT and the artistic side of the new Metaverse.

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