Anyway, street art is something interesting for a city and its inhabitants. The Consul General of France here wants to see HCMC gradually become a center of street art in Southeast Asia. That will certainly attract more tourists to the city. I think our project is to build a small fire which should be tended to grow - PHOTO: COURTESY OF MS-FRÉDÉRIQUE-HORN
In the following interview on the sidelines of a press conference about a project on contemporary street art in Vietnam, Ms. Frederique Horn, director of the French Institute (Institut Français) of Vietnam in HCMC, said street art exhibitions can help the general public gain better understanding of this genre of art. After the exhibition of works in this project, two Vietnamese street art artists will go to Lyon for 15 days in November so that they can cultivate and improve their skills. Excerpts:
Q.: Why is this initiative undertaken?
A.: The idea is to highlight this year’s annual activities of the French Institute here to promote street art in Vietnam and address the questions of sustainable urban life.
It’s a way to make the city more beautiful and agreeable place to live, and bring cultural traits to everybody. In my opinion, city dwellers don’t naturally have the habit or opportunity of visiting museums to admire art works.
It was said during the press conference that the works produced by Vietnamese artists at the French Consul General Residence in HCMC would be displayed on the walls of this residence. Was it somewhat limited after all?
That was only the first step. After that, the street art works would travel across big cities in Vietnam. They would also be put online, via Facebook for instance, so that a greater audience could gain access to them.
Moreover, we also have a great project in November which will put large frescos on different walls in different places in HCMC and other cities afterwards.
During the press conference you said you had worked with the authorities of other Vietnamese cities. Please tell us which the cities are.
They are Danang, Nha Trang and Hanoi.
Is it true to say the authorities have agreed about where to put big pictures produced at the French Consul General Residence in HCMC?
Yes, we are working with them to figure out this issue. In my opinion, there may be exhibitions in big parks in those cities where a greater audience can view the works.
How much does this project cost?
The financing is shared between the European partners, the German Government, the French Government and the city of Lyon as well as business sponsors such as BNP Paribas.
Could you give a more precise figure?
Let’s say about several tens of thousands of euros.
About the artists who are going to Lyon in November, they are expected to do something there. What are these things, exactly?
We have formed a partnership with a street art association in Lyon, and it will welcome the two Vietnamese artists. The participants from Vietnam will work during their 15-day stay there with two French street art artists.
Will this project be held next year?
Indeed, we have a great vision that this project will arouse enough interest so that other establishments will take over it, for example, public authorities. Anyway, street art is something interesting for a city and its inhabitants. The Consul General of France here wants to see HCMC gradually become a center of street art in Southeast Asia. That will certainly attract more tourists to the city.
I think our project is to build a small fire which should be tended to grow.
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