Post-1986 Revisited: The Politics of Representation in Contemporary Vietnamese Art

The Politics of Art in Southeast Asia Seminar Series


About the Seminar

The start of Doi Moi is considered by many to be a pivotal moment in Vietnamese art because it saw the emergence of contemporary art in the country. This seminar will revisit this widely held assumption through the artworks of three renowned Vietnamese artists of the post-1986 era, namely, Dinh Q Le (Hồ Chí Minh City), Trần Lương (Hà Nội) and the Lê Brothers (Huế). It will address their artworks’ entry into international and regional museums; and how contemporary Vietnamese art was caught in a paradoxical situation – for while these artworks were embraced by Southeast Asian art history they were concurrently censored or absent from Vietnamese art institutions. This seminar has two aims. First, it will question the relevance of 1986 as a transitional and political moment in modern and contemporary art practices in Vietnam. Second, the speaker will argue that the inflated importance of 1986 as a pivotal movement created, on the one hand, high expectations from the art world for deeply political subject matter in Vietnamese contemporary art and, on the other, influenced the creative process of subsequent generations of Vietnamese artists.

About the Speaker

Ms Đỗ Tường Linh is a researcher for Site and Space in Southeast Asia, a research initiative run by the Power Institute (University of Sydney, Australia). She also works as an artistic director for Six Space, an independent art education platform in Hanoi, Vietnam. She pursued her B.A in Art History and Art Criticism at Vietnam University of Fine Art. She obtained an M.A in Contemporary Art and Art Theory of Asia and Africa at SOAS (University of London). Her research and curatorial practice pertain to art and politics, conceptualism and post-colonial studies. She has been engaged in the art and cultural scene in Vietnam since 2005 and has collaborated as a writer, researcher, teacher and translator with several institutions such as Dong Son Today Art Foundation, Nha San studio, Hanoi Doclab, Sàn Art, the British Council and the Goethe institute. She is currently curating shows in Vietnam (HCMC, “Museum of the mind” solo shows by Phan Anh 2018), as well as in Germany (Berlin, “No war, no Vietnam” 2018, Galerie Nord).


For registration, please fill in this form and email to by 10 September 2018.


Sep 11 2018


10:00 am - 11:30 am


ISEAS Seminar Room 2