The third annual Vietnam Festival of Creativity and Design 2021 (VFCD 2021) saw nearly 8,000 visitors, emphasising the impact of digital technologies on arts and culture and enhancing the role of young people in promoting creativity in the future.
The VFCD 2021 offered a wide range of online events including podcasts, workshops, exhibitions, alongside discussions on promoting and preserving Vietnamese culture and arts in response to the current trend of digital technology. The event was organised by RMIT University Vietnam in partnership with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the Vietnam National Institute of Culture and Arts Studies (VICAS), COLAB Vietnam and many other organisations.
Digitisation for preservation and development of Vietnamese culture
As part of the VFCD 2021, the Living with Folklore talk series explored folklore in cultural industries and on digital platforms. The series presented practices and initiatives to promote the preservation and digitisation of folk culture, and enhanced people’s experience of folklore on digital platforms.
The Living with Folklore online talk series explored folklore in the cultural industries and on digital platforms.
Panelists at the Digital Folklore talk presented their projects on folklore on digital platforms in Viet Nam and across the world with digital multimedia materials on various subjects such as traditional performing arts, craft villages, handicraft, objects associated with traditional customs, architectural heritage, and visual arts.
Another view from experts on archiving and promoting Vietnamese culture, art, creativity, and design is improving the quality of content on Wikipedia, a free online encyclopedia created and edited by volunteers around the world.
Presented at the WAVE workshop, one of the ten activities hosted by RMIT at the festival, RMIT Bachelor of Design Studies Associate Lecturer Michal Teague said that information on Wikipedia often appears first when people search online.
Based on her observations, famous artists, museums, art spaces, or art genres like Vietnamese photography, from minority groups are less likely to have a Wikipedia page, and those that do are less comprehensive and detailed.
On the topic of preservation and development of art and culture, experts at the Vietnam Art & Design Archive (VADA) Forum discussed the important role of digital archives.
“In a smart future, Viet Nam needs a common, accessible and sustainable online platform for the display of major works of art and culture. Such a platform would be available to public users from both Viet Nam and abroad, as well as cultural professionals, educators and researchers. By doing that we can promote the smart development of Viet Nam’s cultural, creative and design sectors,” RMIT lecturer and co-chair of the VADA Forum Dr Emma Duester said.
RMIT lecturer and event presenter Dr Emma Duester emphasised the importance of digital archives.
At the festival, other traditional art forms, folklore, handicraft, cultural products and services, architectural heritage and several other cultural and art forms have also been encouraged to be promoted on digital multimedia platforms.
Empowering the youth for a future of sustainable and innovative designs
Many young people had opportunities to showcase their creative works to the public through the RMIT School Showcase 2021 and the Lộn Xộn Expo, which featured a variety of themes from nostalgic board games to new perspectives of Vietnamese idioms, gastronomy, and traditional performing art forms.
A feast through Stamps project promoting traditional Vietnamese food from North to South was designed by Can Tho based graphic design student Kim Ngan from the Lộn Xộn Expo.
They could also explore the role of creative education in different contexts in the Creativity, Open & Up! workshop series. These workshops showcased how to apply technology to the creative industries to develop design skills, and participants discussed the perspectives on the "Vietnamese essence" in the creative practice at the Mua dây, bực mình? (Unrestraint) talk series.
A playground for Vietnamese students from diversified backgrounds, the Creativity: The Game Changer contest is currently running until 12 December. The contest aims at awakening the creative potential in Vietnamese youngsters and celebrating the innovation and technology application in solving real-life problems.
According to Associate Professor Dr Nguyen Thi Thu Phuong, Deputy Director of the Vietnam Institute of Cultural and Arts Studies (VICAS), this year’s festival created an even stronger impact on promoting creativity among the youth.
Culture Program Coordinator of the UNESCO Hanoi Office Pham Thi Thanh Huong believes that VFCD was successful in “connecting the dots” between stakeholders in the cultural-creative sector and “engaging an even more diverse community thanks to the combined talents of all the participants, especially the young people with their digital communication acumen and creativity.”