This talk will look at the
construction of Vietnamese socialist realism from 1945 to 1954, during the war of anti-colonial resistance and the formation
of the state Democratic Republic of Vietnam. The first generation of socialist realists were graduates of L’École des Beaux-arts
de l’Indochine, which was modeled after L’École Nationale Supérieur des Beaux-arts; the artists also were versed in the regional,
pre-colonial aesthetic traditions and the European avant-garde.
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They would have to navigate polemical struggles and aesthetic shifts during the transition
to Vietnamese socialist realism, as can be seen in the formation of Trường Mỹ thuật trưng cấp [School of Fine Arts] in 1950,
and the National Fine Arts Exhibitions. The discursive exchanges show shared political aspirations for the revolution, but
the construction of what becomes socialist realism in northern Vietnam was neither a clear rupture from the past nor a foregone
conclusion. It was a gradual searching, negotiation and reformulated synthesis of aesthetics and affiliations.
Võ is a Researcher at Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong where she supervises archival collections on contemporary art from
Southeast Asia. Her writing can be found in publications from MOMA Warsaw (forthcoming), Afterall, Institut national d’histoire
de l’art (INHA), Moderna Galerija, and Taipei Fine Arts Museum. A former Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at Massachusetts Institute
of Technology, she is currently a Chercheuse Invitée at INHA.
This talk is part of the lecture „Modern Art - Global
Perspectives“ (Moderne Kunst - Globale Perspektien) held by Eva Kernbauer in fall/winter 2021/22.
Lecture by Darcy Grimaldo Grigsby, Berkeley, January 11th, 2022, 7:00–8:30 pm CET via Zoom