This month AsiaLIFE asked Vietnam-based artist Bridget March to name her favourite art galleries in Ho Chi Minh City. Here’s her selection. (And you can read more about Bridget here)
This downtown gallery has five spacious floors of artworks by Vietnamese artists in a wide variety of styles, from oil on canvas to lacquer.
The art on display showcases the work of more than 65 artists, ranging from masters to young up-and-coming artists.
Take the lift to the top floor and slowly work your way down. There will be staff nearby to answer any questions you have.
Each floor has one or two seating areas, with tables filled with art books. If you are into art, you could easily while away several hours here.
50 – 52 Mac Thi Buoi, District 1
Ben Thanh Art Gallery
This collection of art by more than 40 Vietnamese artists, both emerging and established, is just half a block from Nguyen Hue walking street in Ho Chi Minh City’s central business district.
The gallery was founded in 1999, and since then it has sold artworks to many of the country’s luxury hotels, including the Grand Ho Tram Strip and the Hyatt Regency Danang.
The works on display at the three-storey gallery include some very large pieces, a small selection of sculptures and a selection of original propaganda posters from the 1960s.
Later this month the gallery will hold an exhibition of propaganda art in Singapore.
7 Nguyen Thiep, District 1
Craig Thomas Gallery
This gallery in District 1, founded in 2009, supports the work of young, emerging and mid-career Vietnamese artists working in painting, sculpture and mixed media.
To help develop a vibrant domestic art scene in Vietnam, Craig Thomson Gallery regularly hosts exhibitions of young Vietnamese artists.
Gallery founder Craig Thomas has lived and worked in Vietnam since 1995, and has mentored a number of promising Saigon-based artists.
The gallery is open from 11am to 6pm Monday to Saturday and midday to 5pm on Sundays. Other times by appointment.
27i Tran Nhat Duat, District 1
The Factory Contemporary Arts Centre
The first purpose-built contemporary arts centre in Vietnam, The Factory in District 2’s Thao Dien is a creative hub where people can work as well as showcase their talents.
The centre has a programme of curated exhibitions, workshops, live arts, talks and film screenings. It aims to assist artists in their search for resource, visibility and support.
The Factory, established in 2016, also has a bar/lounge and an onsite cafe.
The centre is closed on Mondays.
15 Nguyen U Di, Thao Dien, District 2
Hidden down a leafy hem in District 3, Salon Saigon hosts art exhibitions, performances, conferences screenings and educational programmes.
There is also a library of Vietnamese and Asian culture and contemporary creation, with books in French, English and Vietnamese. The library is open on Tuesdays, and other times by appointment only.
The salon was founded by art collector John Tue Nguyen and is directed by French-Vietnamese contemporary visual artist Sandrine Llouquet.
Salon Saigon is open from 9am to midday and 1pm to 6pm Tuesday to Saturday. Entry is VND80,000.