“Modern” craft art in human hands

To help readers understand more about the exhibition, we interviewed representatives of the exhibition’s organizers: Dr. Nguyen Thi Thu Ha, Director of the Center for Contemporary Art Development and Support VICAS Art Studio, Ban Dai representative of RMIT University (Melbourne, Australia), and at the same time listened to opinions from Vietnamese and Australian artists participating in the exhibition, with two representatives respectively artist Vu Kim Thu and Dr. Vicki Couzens. We invite you to follow our information summary below.

“Modern” craft in sustainable development

One of the main purposes of the exhibition “Talented Hands, Similar Cultures” is to “reaffirm the fundamental important role of arts, crafts, and creativity in promoting the development of sustainable development in both Australia and Vietnam, while contributing to the sustainable development of the relationship between arts and crafts and professional design in a modern context,” said Nguyen Thi Thu Ha. RMIT representative stated that “The exhibition is an important bridge between Vietnam and Australia cultural relations”.

The exhibition has the participation of eight artists and artisans from Vietnam and 10 Australian artists and artisans with the advice of VIETCRAFT and Dr. Vicki Couzens, Vice-Chancellor of the Department of Indigenous Research Fellow. .

In this exhibition, Dr. Vicki Couzens wants to convey the message that traditional development needs to be closely linked with indigenous communities, but also needs certain innovations to suit the modern environment. Therefore, in addition to the traditional embroidery works of the Aboriginal tribes, Dr. also introduced the story of possum mink coats, a sacred art product of the Yuin tribe in Southeast Australia. These fur coats represent the image of the sacred Mother mountain, “putting on her cloak when the mist covers the summit”. Along with sustainable development, agreeing with animal protection laws, the Yuin artisans no longer hunt this weasel in Australia, but import it from New Zealand. Thus “traditional” has been customized to become suitable for the current situation.
“Gulagas Cloak” from Possum mink fur by Dr. Vicki Couzens
Artist Vu Kim Thu from Vietnam has an intersectional approach between traditional materials and a modern look. The houses and lines of the city were detailed by her with traditional zó paper. Speaking about her artistic thinking, she said that the result itself is not important. The important thing is the process of creating the work, the meticulousness and care put into each delicate sheet of paper, that is, a never-ending process.

Vicki Couzens and Vu Kim Thu are just two of the artists who will attend the exhibition “Talented Hands, Similar Cultures”. Other artists also bring their meaningful work. Let’s take a look at some of the works with typical artists and artists!

Works by Australian artists show how to use traditional materials or techniques to tell stories today. It can be the traditional lace embroidery technique, using up to 2km of rope by artist Lindy de Wijn, or it can be a very unique toad leather handbag by two artists Lia Tabrah and Perina Drummond. Artists have come up with very new and deeply personal artistic statements. For example, artist Yu Fang Chi wants to make forgotten stories tangible by offering alternative stories to explain them, recreating the ambiguous relationship between body, gesture and object. jewels. Michelle Hamer, with her hand-stitched work on perforated plastic, wants to reflect the clichés of the media in the COVID era. All in all, as RMIT puts it, there is a spirit of “reimagining, re-imagining a difficult Australian history by bringing out the voices of indigenous artists”.

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