|An oil-on-canvas painting by artist Do Ngoc Dung, which was displayed at the National Fine Arts Exhibition 1995.
HA NOI (VNS) — Two major art festivals that invite the participation of Vietnamese living all over the world were launched in Ha Noi yesterday.
The festivals – the Viet Nam Fine Arts Exhibition and the Youth Photography Festival – are being organised by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
Ministry official Hoang Minh Duc said that for the Viet Nam Fine Arts Exhibition, all Vietnamese people above 18 years of age are encouraged to submit their works.
"Art works done in the last five years, including paintings, graphics, sculpture, installation art, performance art and video art can be submitted," he said, adding that they should "reflect various themes of contemporary life."
Duc said eligible works that meet criteria mentioned on www.ape.gov.vn will be judged in two rounds.
For the first round, each artist can send photos or CDs of up to three works. The works chosen in the first round will be judged again in a second round where the original works are seen by the panel of judges.
Photos or CDs of the art works should be sent between July 6 and 12 to the Department for Fine Arts, Photography and Exhibition, Building 101A Nguyen Khuyen, Dong Da District, Ha Noi.
Duc said up to 500 works will be selected for the exhibition. Two first prizes of VND50 million (US$2,400), four second prizes, six third prizes and ten encouragement prizes will be awarded, he said.
However, noted painter Hoang Dinh Tai said at the ceremony yesterday that he was afraid the capital city did not have a proper venue for such an exhibition.
"There are no proper facilities with lighting systems, decorations and security arrangements for a national fine arts exhibition," he said.
Vi Kien Thanh, head of the department, responded that there was no better places for such an event as the Viet Nam Centre for Culture and Arts on Hoa Lu Street.
"We will upgrade the exhibition hall in order to display art works in better settings than usual before we invest in building a new exhibition hall with proper facilities for art works by 2020, as the ministry has planned," he said.
No specific date was announced for the exhibition.
Phan Van Tien, director of Viet Nam Fine Arts Museum, said at the launching ceremony that the museum would select art works for its collection from among the entries before the exhibition is held.
"We have our own criteria, which may not be the same as the panel of judges. So we may buy art works that receive no prizes at the exhibition."
Tien also said that the museum would try its best to pay high prices for artworks in order to encourage artists to create more works.
First youth photo fest
At yesterday's ceremony, the Culture Ministry launched its first Young Photography Festival for Vietnamese people between 14 and 35.
Each photographer can send a maximum of eight photos themed on Viet Nam, its youth, and its development. The venue and dates for this festival is yet to be decided.
Entries can be sent to www.festivalnhiepanhtre.vn or emailed to email@example.com.
Chu Thu Hao, another Fine Arts Department official, said one first prize (worth VND30 million), two second, three third and 15 encouragement prizes will be awarded.
He also said that the first and second prize winners will be entered for the Ho Chi Minh Prize and State Prize on Literature and Arts, the nation's highest awards for art.
The Tien Phong (Vanguard) Newspaper will be the main media sponsor for the festival, she said.
Photographer Viet Hung, popularly known as Lekima Hung (his facebook account), suggested that the organisers choose young representatives from online photography to sit on the judges' panel.
Senior photographer Van Thanh agreed with the suggestion, saying judges should understand the way young people see things in order to judge their work of youth.
Department head Thanh said the panel of judges will be announced soon, and it will surely have young people on it.
He said the ministry plans to organise the festival every two years, alternating it with the biennial National Photography Festival. — VNS