Along with many other new art zones established in Hanoi’s commercial centers recently, commercial malls are not only for shopping, but also as a place for creativity and entertainment.
|Long Bien Art Fair at Mipec Trade Center (Ngoc Thuy Ward, Long Bien District)/ Photo: Linh Anh
Art on the other side of Long Bien Bridge
Long Bien has been considered as an art area of Hanoi. Ngoc Thuy and Ngoc Lam areas in the district are known as artistic villages. “The local art shops are usually introduced by the artists as “just crossing the Long Bien Bridge here is mine,” said artist Bui Viet Bang – Head of the organization board of Long Bien Art Fair.
However, people in the district do not have many opportunities to interact with art. Occasionally, there were some art shows but no display space for artwork. The only work of art exposed in this area which people are passing day by day on it, is a work from the French colonial period long time ago: Long Bien Bridge.
“That’s why we are eager to organize an art exhibition fair for introduce public high-class art. The Long Bien Art Fair event in the commercial center of Long Bien is the enthusiasm of the members of the organization board,” said artist Bui Viet Bang.
Long Bien Art Fair displays about 100 works including sculptures and paintings from more than 20 artists. Most of the artists live and work in Hanoi with a wide age range. The most important goal of the organization board is to turn the space of nearly 1,000 square meters on the second floor of Mipec shopping center into an art exchange area between the public and artists.
Gradually catching up with the world
It can be said that an art exhibition located in a commercial center is not something new. In many countries, the trend of art spaces and galleries at places with a large number of people is popular. It is necessary to implement projects in modern thinking as when art is easy to find out, then it will quickly reach the public.
In Hanoi, Long Bien Art Fair is not the first art project in commercial centers. Before that there were several projects. One of the outstanding ones is Vincom Center for Art (VCCA) in Royal City. Since 2017, VCCA has had notable exhibitions such as “Adventure of the cricket – Touch the world”, “Van Gogh”, and most recently “Plastic Planet” with the green message for the environment which received a lot of attention from young people.
Each exhibition lasts from three to six months with beautiful and meaningful art products from many of the most famous artists in Vietnam. Coming here, visitors not only enjoy art but also take pictures with them. Especially, the entrance is free. This place has been voted by the public as one of the top four art spaces for young people in 2019.
After the VCCA, many other commercial centers have gradually established exhibition areas and cultural events, such as Pho’s Day taken place at Aeon mall (Ha Dong) in early December 2020.
According to members of the organizers, bringing the model of an art project in a commercial center in Vietnam meets difficulties, such as how to introduce information to many different viewers.
However, commercial centers must overcome difficulties to be not only a shopping mall but also a center for dining and entertainment. Under the circumstance, art creation spaces is also a goal.