Salon Saigon’s main function is the presentation of contemporary creation and Vietnamese culture through art exhibitions, performances, conferences, screenings, educational programmes, and a unique collection of resources on Vietnamese culture available at the library.
Founded by John Tue Nguyen – a long time advocate of Vietnamese Heritage and an art collector, Salon Saigon is directed by French-Vietnamese contemporary visual artist Sandrine Llouquet.
Salon Saigon is established in one of the three houses that belonged to US Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge Jr (1902-1985) and his family, during their stay in Saigon from 1963 to 1967.
First appointed by Kennedy in 1963, Lodge supported President Diem’s coup before being re-appointed in 1965 by Lyndon B. Johnson.
Visitors may find additional documentation on this historical period altogether with Henry Cabot Lodge’s life in Saigon.
The house has been recently restored in order to preserve its original features while mixing it with contemporary artworks and making it more convenient for hosting meaningful cultural events.
The name and main concept of “Salon Saigon” refer to the Salons (gatherings) that flourished in France throughout the 17th and 18th centuries.
Based on hospitality, these refined gatherings consciously followed Horace’s definition of the aims of poetry: aut delectare aut prodesse est, or “either to please or to educate”.
They were partly held to amuse the participants and to refine their taste and increase their knowledge.
The Salons were commonly associated with literature, art, science discoveries and philosophical movements.