Summer Worthington is a junior at Saint Louis University who studied abroad in Vietnam through Loyola’s program. Read on to see what Summer had to say about Vietnam’s street art!
1. What was it like exploring Vietnam?
It’s really like nothing else. In Saigon you can go from an area with couture, designer stores, hop on a motorbike and in five minutes be in a completely different world with tiny streets with a thriving informal economy. Throughout the country there are urban centers, thousand-year-old ruins, beaches, and dense jungle.
2. What was some of the art like? Is it mainly street art or specific to the southeast country?
I wasn’t really expecting to see a lot of street art, but I guess it’s a pretty universal thing. Some of the art is definitely trying to make a political
statement, or be a social commentary, but some of it is just there as a personal
statement. From what I saw, there really wasn’t any religious aspect to the artwork, or a lot of religion in the artwork that I saw in the art museums in Saigon. Being in a socialist state makes it difficult for there to be a lot of religious things displayed.
3. What specific piece of street art was your favorite?
My favorite piece of street art is probably the “Wake Up”. It was the first piece that I saw in Vietnam, and it really caught my attention. I think it is a message to the Saigonese to wake up and actually pay attention to what is going on in the country, because no one really questions the government.
4. Do you think Americans can relate to or get a message from the Vietnam street art?
I think that Americans can relate to some of the messages from the Vietnamese street art. So many of the messages are universal- wake up and pay attention to what is going on around you.
5. How’s the art in Vietnam different from the art in the Missouri/USA?
There really doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of differences. While there is a lot more tagging in St. Louis, there is a mix of all kinds of street art in both places. There’s the tagging, political statements, and social commentary. I think that can really be applied to the rest of the US as well. Some people just have different agendas with the art that they are making. There is always going to be a mix.
What do you think? Is Vietnam’s art similar to America’s? Can you relate? Let us know in the comments or @ExpressLoyola using #ExpressGlobal
All photos courtesy of Summer Worthington.