KVT – The Southern Journals… Part Eight

KVT – The Southern Journals… Part Eight

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Has the locus of Vietnamese contemporary art shifted from Hanoi to HCMC?
KVT headed south to take a look for himself. The result is a series of articles about his encounters.

Read more articles here.

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KVT investigates a new art gallery

I wasn’t going to let an exhibition by one of my favorite artists pass me by even if I did have to make a trip to TPHCM to see it.

Ha Manh Thang opened his solo exhibition at Galerie Quynh a couple of weeks ago (and later this week, once I’ve got my head around it and the words start to babble to the surface, I’ll compile an opinion piece about it for the journal) so I grabbed an opportunity to see the new art space they’ve just soft opened to the public and which, until the 11th, displayed some of Thang’s ‘Heaven Is A Place’.

Galerie Quynh has been operating out of its really appealing and functional gallery on the non touristy end of De Tham St for about four years.

De Tham Str

It has an industrial feel interior and has arguably become Vietnam’s premier gallery. Some interior views of the gallery can be seen here housing exhibits from an interesting group exhibition in January that introduced a few of Ha Manh Thang’s new urban landscapes to the Saigonese, as a prelude to his full blown solo.

Quynh’s new, second gallery, which I asssume will become its main space, is in fashionable Dong Khoi St, number 151/13, half way down an old but picturesque arcade and up a flight of steps that lead to the ultra smart L’Usine café…a very hip place wherein to rendezvous for good food and design.

One more flight up gives a view over rusted tin roofs that are sure- and soon- to be only seen in nostalgic photographs at the rate central Saigon is developing.

The image below shows the street aspect of the second level space before Quynh handed it over to their architects, HTA Pizzini.


A short stroll along the verandah leads to the new gallery.

Its not huge, in fact it’s quite intimate, but from the alfresco entrance area, through the dramatic rusted steel doorway into the exhibition areas that lead to a picture widow that frames branches of street trees to give an almost garden aspect, it’s a small masterpiece. At present it is only open by appointment.

My amateur images don’t do the space justice but give a taste of its potential. Paintings on the walls are by Ha Manh Thang with the up close image a very beautiful and unusual landscape of the Citadel in Hue.

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Its next exhibition, which, I understand will be spread over the two Quynh galleries, promises to use both spaces innovatively.

My prognosis is that the new Galerie Quynh will be on the must see list of all discerning art and architectural buffs who visit TPHCM….but  I hope that they don’t overlook the raw concrete and glass delights of 65 De Tham.

Kiem Van Tim is a keen observer of life in general and the Hanoi cultural scene in particular and offers some of these observations to the Grapevine. KVT insists that these observations and opinion pieces are not critical reviews. Please see our Comment Guidelines / Moderation Policy and add your thoughts in the comment field below.


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