San Art: An Ideal Gallery for Contemporary Arts Lovers in Ho Chi Minh City

San Art Gallery in Saigon

Jane Pham
Jane Pham | Published: May 2, 2020

Ho Chi Minh City, a center of art and culture in the South of Vietnam, is an ideal for the young to start their own business as well as develop new creative ideas. Coming to this city, beside the historical museums that attract a large number of visitors, there are many art galleries for people who want to contemplate modern artworks.

Starting from the idea to bring contemporary arts closer to the community, the founders of San Art (Sàn Art) make it an open gallery for all people who are interested in this aspect. If you go on a trip to Ho Chi Minh City, you should come across San Art to feel the breath of modern life there.

    Location: Millennium Masteri B6.16 & B6.17, 132 Ben Van Don, Ward 6, District 4, Ho Chi Minh City
    Opening hour: 11.00 – 18.30, every Tuesday - Saturday
    Ticket price: No Charge
    Phone number: 0339 811 696
    Website: san-art.org

1.  A Brief History of San Art

At the beginning of the 21st century, the cultural exchanges among countries in the world impulse the development of culture in general and contemporary arts in particular. Not out of this tendency, with the support of Vietnam Foundation for the Arts (VNFA), in 2007, San Art was founded by a Vietnamese-American artist Dinh Le and three modern Vietnamese artists – Tuan Andrew Nguyen, Ha Thuc Phu Nam and Tiffany, in order to increase the opportunities of engaging in contemporary arts.

Exhibition ‘San Art Laboratory on Kickstarter’

This is a non-profit, independent and artist-initiated project, which has contributed to break all the rules of traditional conception of contemporary arts. San Art also creates good conditions for many young artists, who are interested in this school of art, to have a chance to bring their artworks to the public. Many youngsters have been successful in their careers thanks to this project, which includes Bui Cong Khanh, Lai Dieu Ha, Le Phi Long, Dao Tung and so on.

In 2012, San Art Laboratory was founded as a crucial platform to increase the awareness of art and culture in modern society. In addition, it also provides the participants with money, space, professional experts and moral support to conduct their own artworks. This is a valuable chance for each artist to develop themselves as well as bring their works closer to the audiences.

2. Highlights of San Art

A school of modern art like contemporary art at San Art for sure has unique ways of performance, let’s discover what they are!

A favorite place by local people
  • Architecture and Structure: Unlike many galleries or museums, San Art is located in an apartment on the 6th floor of a tenement in Ho Chi Minh City. The area of the apartment is not too big, just enough space for a reading room, some rooms for exhibitions, galleries and workshops. When setting foot in the rooms, you may have a feeling of modern life with the white walls for installing artworks, the long and narrow corridor, and the shimmering light. The quiet atmosphere is quite ideal for you to have a private space to contemplate the contemporary artworks there.
  •  Contemporary Artworks: At first sight, you may feel that the paintings as well as the visual works here are quite abstract. They are not in harmonious colors and lines like in traditional art but the scrawl lines instead. However, that is the outstanding feature of contemporary arts, which the artists can unleash their creativity with the artifacts that reflect the real situation of the society nowadays.
  • Workshops on the Ground: This is a familiar image when you come to San Art to participate in a workshop. All the experts, artists and audiences sit flat on the ground but they still discuss happily and ebulliently. In San Art, people talk in an open and friendly way, which will immediately make you feel like a family.

3. What to See and Do at San Art?

San Art offers visitors with many activities such as exhibitions, artists presentations, lectures, workshops and residency programs, in interaction with international and local partners.

Chusak Srikwan at San Art
  • Contemporary Art Galleries: Every month, there are art galleries in San Art, where you can admire the artworks of an artist or a group of creative youngsters. Moreover, you will have a chance to meet and talk to the author of these works of art, so that you will understand more about their procedure as well as their dedication. The galleries here give you a very different view of art in general and contemporary arts in particular. The artworks are not restricted in the framework of the previous ones but allow the artists to be more creative
  • Workshops of Contemporary Arts: San Art often holds workshops that attract many contemporary artists and invites famous experts in this aspect from many countries in the world like Japan, India, Thailand, France and so on. The workshops are surely a good chance for you to widen your knowledge about contemporary arts.
  • Modern Celluloid Film: In San Art, you can also watch the new films of the young directors in Vietnam and some countries in the world. These are not the kind of action or fiction films that you often see in the movie; these are emotional films that will give you an overall view about modern society as well as the intriguing information about the culture of Vietnam and some other nations.

4. How to Get to San Art?

San Art is located in District 4, about three kilometers from the city center. You can get there by taxi, motorbike and bus. After passing Khanh Hoi Bridge, go straight and turn right to Doan Nhu Hai Street. Continue to go straight about 400 meters then turn right to Nguyen Truong To Street. From Nguyen Truong To Street, go about 500 meters then turn left to Ong Lanh Bridge, you will reach San Art.

An exhibition held by San Art

6. Tips on Visiting

These are some important things that you should note down for your visiting:

  •  Sometimes, due to the narrow space, the number of audience is limited. You should book in advance and arrive on time so as not to interrupt the performances of artists.
  • You are encouraged to explore the space of San Art. However, you mustn’t touch the artworks to avoid damages. You will be fined if you break the works.
  • There are many workshops of San Art which are held in another place, so you should find the information of the workshops in advance to have a good preparation.
  • When going to the building, you have to use the inter phone at the entrance of the building to call the host at 06.16.
  • You have to turn off the phone and do not use flash photography during the performance.

If you are excited about contemporary arts and want to find a modern space for creation in Ho Chi Minh City, San Art is a wonderful suggestion for you. If you visit San Art, don’t forget to share with us your feelings as well as precious moments there.

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