The Vietnam Festival of Creativity & Design (VFCD), held from 6 to 21 November this year, aims to create an open, timely and interactive platform for creative individuals and organisations to engage with thousands of people online.
Now in its third year, VFCD is organised by RMIT University Vietnam in partnership with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the Vietnam National Institute of Culture and Arts Studies (VICAS) and COLAB Vietnam.
Spotlight on Vietnam’s creative future
Under the theme Creative Future, this year’s program includes talks, workshops, exhibitions, podcast series, contests, and various online activities and discussions about the vision, trends, cultural identity, and future opportunities for the creative industries in Vietnam.
Watch the VFCD 2021 online launch video:
Professor Julia Gaimster, Dean of School of Communication & Design at RMIT University elaborated: “The creative industries are facing new challenges – the post-COVID world won’t be the same and we all need to think about what the ‘new normal’ might be. We need creative thinkers and innovators to find these solutions, so the festival aims to be a forum where some of these challenges can be discussed, and possible solutions can be identified.”
Associate Professor Dr Nguyen Thi Thu Phuong, Deputy Director of the Vietnam Institute of Cultural and Arts Studies (VICAS), expects this year’s festival will create an even stronger impact on promoting creativity among the youth and micro, small and medium-sized organisations, who are inherently the protagonists of the core values and inspirations that drive creativity.
“During these times, let’s try to find our own vitality by igniting and connecting our own creative values through activities in the cultural-creative sector,” she told Vietnam Insider.
A diverse range of online activities
Building on last year’s momentum, VFCD 2021 can be experienced almost entirely online via the festival’s social media channels and other digital platforms. Most of the events are available in both Vietnamese and English, and do not require entrance fees.
Similar to the previous years, the 2021 program features multiple activities led by other partners. This year’s line-up of around 20 collaborators includes The Big Draw (an international initiative to promote the value of drawing), the Australian Embassy in Vietnam, the Contemporary Art and Social Transformation research group (CAST), Vietcraft, Work Room Four, and the Vietnam Design Week, among others.
An activity that will run throughout the duration of the festival is the digital collaborative art campaign To_morrow (Đến tương lai) held in association with Behalf Studio – the creative adviser of VFCD 2021. This project welcomes the public to submit their own photo on Instagram with hashtags and receive a bespoke design generated from the photo. The designs will then be added to a bigger mosaic-style artwork that grows over time on VFCD’s official website.
As the initiator of the festival, RMIT University Vietnam is spearheading around 10 events, including a forum on art and design archive in Vietnam, an ‘edit-a-thon’ to increase the quality of content on Wikipedia about Vietnamese art and culture, workshops on sustainable fashion and drawing, etc.
Culture Program Coordinator of the UNESCO Hanoi Office Pham Thi Thanh Huong believes that VFCD has been successful in “connecting the dots” between stakeholders in the cultural-creative sector over the past two years, and has high hopes for the program this year as well.
“I expect this year’s VFCD to continue engaging an even more diverse community thanks to the combined talents of all the participants, especially the young people with their digital communication acumen and creativity,” Ms Huong said.
Echoing this sentiment, international artist-educator and COLAB Vietnam founder Thanh Bui highlighted that the future is in the hands of the creatives. This is also the inspiration behind the six-part workshop series hosted by COLAB Vietnam during VFCD 2021 titled CREATIVITY, OPEN & UP!
“It doesn’t matter what company you work for – whether it’s in finance, education, or logistics – if you are creative and able to ignite ideas, you will be successful and be the leaders. So please join us and create this incredible community of Vietnamese creatives, so that we can truly connect with the world and bring our products and our culture to the world,” Mr Thanh Bui said.