Vietnam Comes of Age
A new arts complex in Hanoi reveals a generational shift.
When artists wanted to paint in 1980s Vietnam, they had to submit a sketch to the authorities. If it was approved, they got three tubes of paint: two red, one blue.
By the time Nguyen Qui Duc returned to Hanoi in 1989 from more than a decade in the U.S., those times seemed to be over. The Vietnamese government had recently introduced the Doi Moi (“Renovation”) policy and the strict state-controlled economy was slowly loosening up. “There was an openness,” the cultural entrepreneur tells me. “Writers were able to write about the war and the circumstances of society. People were talking about the bonds that tie artists together.”