Art without boundaries

29/11/2019 16:50

Artist, fashion designer and gallery founder Tia-Thuy Nguyen is helping to nurture Vietnam’s Art community.

Tia-Thuy Nguyen

By age 19, Nguyen Thu Thuy was already making an impression in Vietnam’s art scene with many small exhibitions at coffee shops and galleries. But it had not been an easy journey for Thuy to become an art student - after failing three times, on her fourth attempt, Thuy was finally admitted into the Vietnam University of Fine Arts in Hanoi. Graduating in 2006, Thuy received a scholarship and proceeded to perfect her craft for eight years at the National Academy of Fine Arts and Architecture in Kiev, Ukraine. After returning to Vietnam with a doctorate in art, many expected Thuy to work as a painter. But the young woman from Hanoi took a different path.


 “When I was a child, I would often stay at home by myself and I liked playing with dolls and making clothes for them,” Thuy said. She would return to this early passion, learning to make her own clothes without any formal training.“Why must an artist always be painting?” Thuy asked. “Fashion is the combination of lines, forms, colors, patterns and shapes of art. I want to create artwork that can be worn on the body that women can feel confident about.” And in a small room on Da Tuong Street, Hanoi, the first dresses by Thuy Design House were created in 2011.After eight years of development, the Thuy Design House brand has now become  a top choice for anyone seeking a traditional áo dài which is still youthful, elegant and bold. From “Lung Lieng” (Flirty), “Vien man” (Fulfilled), “Co Ba Sai Gon” (Ms. Ba of Saigon), “Mong mị” (Dreaming) to her most recent collection, “Tinh tang” (The Melody of Love), one can recognize the designer’s continued growth and development. Thuy Design House has now become a favorite brand for celebrities such as Ngo Thanh Van, Thanh Hang, Linh Nga, Hoang Thuy Linh and Bich Phuong, while continuing to bring Vietnamese design culture to world fashion capitals such as New York and Paris.


Adopting the name Tia-Thuy Nguyen, the artist established a new project in 2016: The Factory Contemporary Arts Centre. Noting a lack of infrastructure and facilities for local art, she dreamed of building a center to connect artists, critics, designers, collectors and audiences. Now, more than three years since the center’s establishment, Tia, together with art director Zoe Butt and the curators on her team, have made The Factory the top art destination in Saigon and a major step towards creating a sustainable art community in Vietnam. Alongside her investment in art education, Tia has also gone back to practicing her own craft. On a beautiful sunny day in May this year in Aix-en-Provence, France, she debuted her solo installation “Silver Room” at Château La Coste, becoming the first Vietnamese artist to make an appearance in this renowned collection. “Working in art provides endless passion and creativity,” said Tia. “There is no boundary between architecture, sculpting, painting, designing, decorating, arranging, fashion and even movies. An artwork is the integration and mixture across techniques, disciplines, cultures, with layers of knowledge on top of one another.” While she continues on her own artistic journey, Tia is helping to bring new Vietnamese voices across countless boundaries. 

Installation “Silver Room” 

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