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Nguyen Anhyuan

Heritage Space’s most outstanding activity is the International Art Exchange project titled Month of Art Practice (MAP). Initiated and operated from 2015 to now, the project that engages young people with contemporary arts in Vietnam.

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Peripheral Art Project: Blur and Orthodoxy in Contemporary Vietnamese Art

Nguyen Anhyuan
(Heritage Space, ViAA-Vietnam Art Archive)


The presentation will feature the outstanding and important peripheral art projects and practices in Vietnam in recent years, thereby highlighting a systematic and intentional situation throughout the history of contemporary art in the country. After the Doi Moi 1990s, along with the political-economic transformation of the state, international exchange activities began to be reconnected and developed. The visual arts were one of the earliest branches of culture that exchanged and rapidly gained commercial and fame. It began to branch out between the state and independent sectors since the state began to ease the censorship, allow the operation of private galleries, and allow unlimited exchanges within the culture and arts.

As a paradox, in the decline and aging of the mainstream art system associated with the state, the private art sector, such as individuals, alternative art spaces, organizations, and collectives that do not hold material or economic power, are the most active, initiating and encouraging profound and multi-dimensional international exchange.

The “marginal” characteristic of independent art in Vietnam exposing the creativity of the artistic practices in the entire process of implementation, objects, structure, space, participants, geographical context, climate, and materials, local and international - showing vitality and strong undercurrents in a context of resource constraints and heavy, complex political censorship.

How is an inner and outer Vietnam represented through art? The purpose of this presentation is to show how the parallelism of mainstream and peripheral voices helps shape different perspectives on “Vietnam” today.

Art projects cited in the presentation: MAP của Heritage Space, Flying People của Nhà Sàn Collective, DocFest of Hanoi Doclab, Hanoi New Music Festival of DomDom Center of Experimental music and art, Art Marathon of A Space, A Queer Museum of artist-socialist Nhung Dinh, IN: ACT of Nha San Collective & Phu Luc group, Nhà Sàn Collective at Documenta XV, Nổ Cái Bùm Festival by Sao La and Mo Do collective.



Nguyen Anh Tuan is an independent researcher, art curator, and manager based in Hanoi, Vietnam. He graduated from the Hanoi Fine Arts University (now Vietnam Fine Arts University) with a major in Theory & History of Arts. Tuan has worked as an art researcher at the Hanoi Institute of Art from 2002 - 2015 and as program manager of Muong AIR, the artist-in-residency program of Muong Studio from 2012 - 2016, and has taken on the responsibility as country director appointed by the Indochina Arts Partnership (2016 - 2019). In March 2016, he was appointed to be the Artistic Director of Heritage Space - an independent art organization in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Considering art as an approach and tool for social development, Tuan offers diverse initiatives and ways to nurture the arts, interacting directly with the special context in Vietnam and diverse communities. As the artistic director of Heritage Space since 2016, Tuan strives to maintain the annual Month of Arts Practice (MAP) program as an art concept laboratory and international exchange platform. MAP is run annually for three months, fall-winter, creating various ways to experiment, collaborate across disciplines, exchange knowledge and practices, engage communities, and nurture creativity and artist communities. even during a pandemic. From 2021, MAP will also conduct an artist-in-residency exchange with AIRs in Japan, opening the chain of Asian art exchange connections in the following years.

Interested in knowledge and art conservation, Tuan and Heritage Space developed Vietnam Arts Archive, an online archive platform for Vietnamese contemporary art in 2020. In the context of the lack of contemporary art archives in Vietnam. In Vietnam, the project offers an open information system capable of connecting and collaborating with many artists and scholars and free access to references for all.

Nguyen Anh Tuan is a founding member of Vietnam Creative Hubs Initiatives – a network of Vietnamese creative hubs Designed by Vietnam – a platform for new designs in Vietnam. He is also a member of Mekong Cultural Hubs - a network of cultural spaces in the Mekong sub-region and Taiwan. Nguyen Anh Tuan and Heritage Space have received support from the Goethe Institute, British Council, Japanese Cultural Center in Vietnam, Japan Foundation Asia Center, International Relief Fund from the German Federal Foreign Office, ifa – Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen, Korea Foundation, Pro Helvetia among others.



  • Heritage Space

Heritage Space is an independent art organization for contemporary art and exchange, presenting cycles of exhibitions, art projects, and monthly live events. It also has the legal status of being a social enterprise. Founded in 2014, it houses an office and library space, a program of exhibitions, and a series of talks, screenings, performances, and workshops derived from each cycle's thematic framework. Developed through the vision and foundation that support creativity, intellectual exchange, and art appreciation, Heritage Space aims to function as a HUB - a multidisciplinary portal of many research and development fields, and to participate directly in the cultural construction of the creative industry in Vietnam.

Heritage Space’s most outstanding activity is the International Art Exchange project titled Month of Art Practice (MAP). Initiated and operated from 2015 to now, the project has sustained through five seasons, with the participation of almost fifty acclaimed international artists from Europe, America, and Asia. Numerous young local artists have benefited from working, learning, and growing while participating in MAP. MAP is also a project that engages young people with contemporary arts in Vietnam.

In 2020, Heritage Space initiated a new long-term project called “Vietnam Art Archive” (ViAA) - a non-profit and long-term initiative with the desire to create an archive of contemporary art practices in Vietnam since the 1990s. ViAA is operated as an online infrastructural platform in the form of a website to provide not only information, instructions, and references in a systematic way, but also a long-term orientation towards education and social development through contemporary arts.

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