Arts organization V Art and the HCMC Young Artists’ Association havelaunched one of the most ambitiousarts competitions ever held in Vietnam, Vietart Today 2016. The contest, which is being sponsored by HCMC-based Galerie Nguyen, is open to Vietnamese artists under 40 years old, and features generous cash prizes as well as international exposure and career development assistance.
The competition began on October 6, 2016, and will end with an awards night in February 2017. First prize is VND100 million (US$4400), a trip to the Singapore Art Fair and an exclusive contract with Galerie Nguyen and V Art worth up to VND2.5 billion (US$110,000) over fie years. Second and third prizes offr lower amounts of cash as well as a trip to the Singapore Art Fair and fie-year contracts.
The jury of the competition is an illustrious panel including Swiss art historian, Dr. Ildegarda E. Scheidegger; curator Thanh Kieu Moeller (Singapore); collector Julie Lam (Canada); collector Olivier Do Ngoc (Luxembourg); and painter Tran Thanh Canh (chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City Young Artists Club). Thir votes will determine 50% of the fial evaluation, the remainder of which will be voted on by art collectors themselves, with an aim of the competition to strike a balance between artistic virtuosity and marketability.
“Art is not simply just about an artist creating an artwork, but is a connection between several factors like curators, collectors, galleries, or auctioneers, etc.,” said Dr. Ildegarda E. Scheidegger. “It is crucial for an artist to have a skillful curator, and compassionate collectors. Artists need the chance to go out and experience new artistic movements, or seek for assistance from the world’s top curators.
” Young painter Nguyen Hai Anh, who shows with event sponsor Galerie Nguyen, echoed the need for collaboration in career development. “For me, a painter can hardly excel at everything, from art jobs to business,” he said, noting that event organization, promotion and sales are a major challenge for a young artist: “Time is limited, and so is our labor. I just focus on my artwork, and entrust the rest of my business to the gallery.”
Judge Julie Lam, a successful businesswoman, philanthropist and collector, said she hoped the competition would help encourage young artists and develop Vietnam’s art scene. “I’m fond of young painters because they are so passionate,” she said. “I believe that aftr V Art and Galerie Nguyen help introduce [the artists] to the international arena, successive competitions will fuel generations of giftd and professional artists to carry Vietnamese fie arts even further.”

Painter: Le Van Linh - Work: Minority Woman

Painter: Tran Ngoc Duc - Work: Melody for nothingness