Vietnam Festival of Creativity & Design returns bigger and better

Initiated by RMIT University, the Vietnam Festival of Creativity & Design 2020 will run for 16 days (7-22 November) and will build on the success of last year’s inaugural event, which featured over 35 activities and 25 partners from the cultural and creative sectors.

Previously known as the Vietnam Festival of Media & Design, the 2019 festival focused on Hanoi and directly supported the city’s designation as a new member of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.

This year, the organisers will expand the scope to nationwide by shining a spotlight on the innovative power of Ho Chi Minh City and the heritage of Hue, in addition to Hanoi’s culture and creativity.

The inclusion of more creative areas, such as performing arts and music, and the combination of online and offline platforms are expected to capture a wider audience and create more opportunities for international collaboration.

The Vietnam Festival of Creativity & Design 2020 celebrates Vietnamese creativity through a series of online and offline activities held from 7 to 22 November.

RMIT Dean of the School of Communication & Design Professor Julia Gaimster described the festival as “a coming together of people who are interested in creativity and culture in Vietnam, both traditional and contemporary”.

“The creative and cultural industries play a key role in the socio-economic development of Vietnam and in order to compete on the world stage, the country needs to nurture and showcase its creative talent,” Professor Gaimster said.

“Individuals can find it hard to make an impact and to get their work recognised. So, a major national festival is a great way of creating impact and promoting the country as a whole.

“I hope that the festival will help move the global perception of ‘made in Vietnam’ to ‘created, innovated and designed in Vietnam’.

From 7 to 22 November, festival audiences will be able to immerse themselves in a range of exhibitions, workshops, seminars, talks and competitions, the majority of which will also be accessible online.

This year’s festival will welcome returning co-organisers UNESCO and the Vietnam National Institute of Culture and Arts Studies (VICAS), as well as new partner COLAB Vietnam, a creative organisation founded by singer-songwriter Thanh Bui.

Around 25 other organisations, active in areas such as craft and folk arts, design, film, gastronomy, literature, media arts, music, and creative education, will join as hosts and supporters.

UNESCO Representative to Vietnam Michael Croft expressed his delight at UNESCO returning as a co-organiser.

“2020 has been extremely difficult for the cultural industries with the impact of COVID-19. However, it has also allowed creative individuals, groups and institutions to demonstrate their adaptability.

“For UNESCO and everybody involved, the Vietnam Festival of Creativity & Design is a opportunity to showcase this resilience, and celebrate the promise and potential of the creative industries in Vietnam,” Mr Croft said.

VICAS Director, Associate Professor Dr Bui Hoai Son said that VICAS is proud to contribute to promoting Vietnamese creativity by co-organising the festival.

“A VICAS team of experts in the cultural and creative industries will co-host various activities within the festival, including a seminar on curating Vietnamese art and culture, an exhibition featuring works by Vietnamese and Australian designers, artists and craftspeople, as well as other discussions and exchanges.

“Our goal is to actively promote the creativity of young Vietnamese people, thereby highlighting the role of culture and creativity for the sustainable development of Vietnam in the coming time,” Associate Professor Dr Bui Hoai Son said.

For new joiner COLAB Vietnam, the festival will be a platform to help connect the younger generations with the knowledge and growth opportunities that exist in the creative industries.

“We hope that young people will find inspiration and connections to help them realise their potential. We want to bring a clear and sustainable direction towards a greater future for Vietnam – one that focuses on next-gen creative education and growth,” said COLAB Vietnam founder Mr Thanh Bui.

The festival will kick off with an exhibition of selected works from the RMIT Contemporary Art Collection, one of the most prestigious collections of contemporary Vietnamese art in the world.

Chuong Duong Bridge – Le Quy Tong

As a key program within RMIT’s 20th anniversary celebrations in Vietnam, the festival will feature a variety of activities headlined by RMIT teams in both Vietnam and Australia.

The festival will kick off with an exhibition of selected works from the RMIT Contemporary Art Collection, one of the most prestigious collections of contemporary Vietnamese art in the world.

The exhibition will be open to visitors in Hanoi at the Vietnamese Women’s Museum, and via an online platform. Exhibition viewers can share their reviews of the artworks by entering an online competition.

Another competition run on Instagram titled “Vietnam 2030: Visions of the Future” will ask how people and the planet can be developed sustainably in Vietnam, and what the role of creativity is within this agenda.

Explore the full program and learn how to join the upcoming activities at https://2020.vfcd.events/.