​Vietnamese artist to receive Melbourne’s grant

Tales of Legend Collection is one of the most anticipated art projects, according to City of Melbourne

Artist Tran Thanh Canh standing by one of his pieces from Tales of Legend collection - Photo: Tuoi Tre

Tran Thanh Canh is the only Vietnamese artist to receive this year’s funding from Council of City of Melbourne, Australia, and will display his collection Tales of Legend in 2019.

Every year, City of Melbourne provides a grant of US$800,000 for different art projects which may vary from music, theatre, visual art, to crafts.

This year, 294 art projects, individual artists, and organizations sent their application to City of Melbourne with the hope of being chosen, but only 59 projects were eventually selected.

Among the selected art projects, Tran Thanh Canh’s was the only Vietnamese one, and was also praised as one of the five most symbolic and anticipated works.

“Each year, the art fund of Melbourne City will choose a topic related to humanities, environment, history, or nature. This year, my art project Tales of legends was introduced to Melbourne because of being closely related to council’s culture promotion,” said the young artist.

The 35-year-old artist received a grant of US$10,000 to develop and exhibit his project of 18 pieces in Melbourne next year.

One of Tran Thanh Canh pieces recently displayed in Singapore
One of Tran Thanh Canh pieces recently displayed in Singapore

The Vietnamese artist spent five years on Tales of Legend collection, which was inspired by Vietnam’s history, legends, as well as artifacts found in what is believed to be tombs of the princesses of Hung Kings reign.

The artifacts include a coat, clothes with beads, and accessories.

Hung Kings are believed to be Vietnam’s ancient rulers and country’s founders.

Each art piece will include a painting and an artifact, through which the artist tells a story about the country and anonymity of its heroes.

In order to bring the exhibition to the world, Canh received help from a colleague to translate the exhibition into English.

 “The latest round of arts grants will ensure 925 days' worth of arts activity in our city in 2019, with more than 1,800 artists involved," Arts, Culture and Heritage Portfolio Chair, Councillor Rohan Leppert claims.

He also stressed the importance of the grant in boosting local artists to explore creative ideas and provoke thought and discussion, according to City of Melbourne’s official website.

"Not only are we working hard to foster Melbourne's incredible artistic talents, we're also ensuring their work is brought to the public free of charge, with more than 75 percent of this year's events open to everyone.

"It's exciting to see such a wealth of varied talent within the City of Melbourne and I look forward to seeing their contributions to Australia's cultural capital," said Leppert.

“In Australia, each state has its own fund to support art.

“Among those, Melbourne is a place that attracts most immigrants and refugees, so it also strives for cultural harmony.

“It is important for people with different cultural backgrounds to respect and culturally interact, instead of clashing and misunderstanding each other.

“Hence, every year the city will spend a great sum of money to support art projects of artists from different countries,” Nguyen Huy Khue, an Australian artist with Vietnamese origin who was granted the fund in 2015, shared with Tuoi Tre.

Artist Nguyen Huy Khue shared the joy with Tran Thanh Canh because through the grant, not only can the young artist promote Vietnamese culture, but can also turn every idea into reality.

Tran Thanh Canh has a Master of Arts and is an accomplished Vietnamese artist known to many.

The 35-year-old artist has already received around 20 art awards, has had three individual exhibitions, and over 50 group exhibitions both in Vietnam and overseas.

He is currently Commissioner of Ho Chi Minh City Association of Fine Arts, Director of Young Painters Club at Ho Chi Minh City Association of Fine Arts, and a lecturer at several universities in Ho Chi Minh City, according to news page Sai Gon Giai Phong.

In 2017, City of Melbourne sponsored 62 projects with a grant of US$800,000.

One of Tran Thanh Canh pieces recently displayed in Singapore
One of Tran Thanh Canh pieces recently displayed in Singapore

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