Model takes on new role as curator

January, 18/2023 - 08:05
Tống Diệu Hằng has been a famous model and social media influencer attending many major fashion and art events in both Việt Nam and abroad. With a foundation and passion for art, she has boldly embarked on a new role – being a curator.
Tống Diệu Hằng is pictured at the second exhibition that she curates, Mèo Du Xuân (The Spring Walking Cat). Photo courtesy of Tống Diệu Hằng

HÀ NỘI - Tống Diệu Hằng has been a famous model and social media influencer attending many major fashion and art events in both Việt Nam and abroad. With a foundation and passion for art, she has boldly embarked on a new role – being a curator.

Her first two exhibitions, Gặp Gỡ Đà Lạt (Dalat Rendezvous), held in romantic Đà Lạt resort city in the Central Highlands province of Lâm Đồng, and most recently, Mèo Du Xuân (The Spring Walking Cat), which concluded at the Việt Nam National Fine Arts Museum in Hà Nội, have received rave reviews from art critics.

Hằng said the experience of being a model has assisted her on taking on the new role.

"I have travelled to many countries, visited many museums, attended many exhibitions and been a collector of paintings myself, which has helped me not to be like a fish out of water while being a curator. I think everyone has been the 'curator' of their own collection," she said.

"The common point of all art forms is that they are all oriented towards beauty, bringing beauty to the public. For example, if you design a fashion collection, it needs to be showcased on the catwalk or to the audience. Painting is the same. No one finishes a painting and then wraps it up in a closet. If so, it's not a painting. A book can only be a book when it has been printed, published and brought to life."

"I think that fashion and curation are two complementary jobs, interacting with each other, not mutually exclusive. I want to be a model who loves art and an art person who loves fashion. Therefore, I have tried my best to attract public attention to the exhibitions with the aim to create a new art community and bring art closer to life," Hằng added.

Tống Diệu Hằng said the experiences of being a model has assisted her on taking on the new role. — Photo courtesy of Tống Diệu Hằng

The debut exhibition of the 32-year-old curator, Dalat Rendezvous, held in the poetic and romantic space of a resort in Đà Lạt from August 8 to October 8 last year, featured 40 artworks that she described as "40 flowers that the artists wish to share with art lovers from the 'city of a thousand flowers'."

Despite such a simple description, the works chosen for the exhibition are not simple at all. Showcasing artworks by eight renowned Vietnamese painters, it is a rendezvous of shapes, colours and materials.

The model spent three months planning the event, inviting the painters and persuaded them to have their unpublished works displayed in the exhibition. Her difficulty is connecting artists with styles matching the concept in the poetic space of Đà Lạt while presenting art lovers with a feast of colours.

"A first experience always evokes a special feeling. From talking with artists before the exhibition to meeting art lovers and collectors, my special feelings have increased over time," Hằng said.

Tống Diệu Hằng (fifth from right) and world-renowned pianist Đặng Thái Sơn (sixth from right) cut the inauguration band for Mèo Du Xuân (The Spring Walking Cat) exhibition. — Photo dantri.com.vn

Good feedback from the art-loving community inspired the model to curate her second exhibition, Mèo Du Xuân (The Spring Walking Cat), held at the National Fine Arts Museum in Hà Nội from December 28, 2022 to January 10.

The exhibition was a greeting of the Year of the Cat from 28 artists such as Nguyễn Thụy Kha, Hữu Ước and Đỗ Dũng, featuring 100 artworks, ranging from paintings to pottery and statues. Apart from feline artworks, it included ones that revealed the beauty of landscapes, flowers, and spring - the season of rebirth and flowers blossoming, and also the eternal inspiration for the artist.

Attending the opening ceremony of The Spring Walking Cat, world-renowned pianist Đặng Thái Sơn congratulated Hằng on the second exhibition that she curated, saying that the exhibition was really successful and received much praise from both experts and the public.

In both exhibitions, Hằng also showcased the style of a model via her two elegant and stylish black and white suites.

The curator revealed that she was planning an art event that would combine art and fashion this summer.

Tống Diệu Hằng is pictured with supermodel Natalia Vodianova. — Photo courtesy of Tống Diệu Hằng

Congratulating Hằng on her Facebook page, young female painter Vương Linh wrote: "I don't have much chance to work with Hằng, but by observing, I know that she has worked hard and seriously. All the meticulousness expressed in The Spring Walking Cat is worthy of praise."

"Tống Diệu Hằng - a young woman who comes out from the fashion industry into the role of a curator. Congratulations to Hằng for representing the young generation - dare to think and to be different," Linh added. VNS

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