Culture Culture

26/10/2021 - 09:19

Location for Hue Museum of Fine Arts sought

After nearly 3 years of establishment, Hue Museum of Fine Arts still has no headquarters. Where the museum is located, how its appearance is render the fine arts circle uneasy.

Aside from the indoor exhibition space, Hue Museum of Fine Arts needs an outdoor space for exhibition and performance (Photo taken before the COVID-19 outbreak)

3 years without headquarters

Hue Museum of Fine Arts was established in December 2018 to meet the long-time expectations of artists and the public. When newly established, the museum's headquarters was expected to be located at 10 Ly Thuong Kiet, and in the future, the province will arrange a space for Hue fine arts exhibition at a more suitable and spacious location on Le Loi Street. However, after nearly 3 years of establishment, Hue Fine Arts Museum has had no headquarters so far.

Without a headquarters, Hue Fine Arts Museum faces many difficulties in implementing and promoting its functions and tasks. There is no exhibition space. Although the museum is invested for the collection of works, the purchased paintings and statues are only stocked.

More than 100 works are unable to promote their value because there is no exhibition place. The archives at Le Ba Dang Art Center and Diem Phung Thi Art Center are small in size, unable to preserve works, unable to classify works because each material requires different preservation.

In addition to exhibiting the works of two artists Le Ba Dang and Diem Phung Thi, Hue Museum of Fine Arts also jointly organize cultural and art activities. However, due to tight space, the museum has to limit its activities, unable to gratify the desire of artists and the public.

Ms. Dinh Thi Hoai Trai, Director of Hue Museum of Fine Arts said uneasily, “Many units came to survey but found that the museum's exhibition space was unsatisfactory, especially for thematic exhibitions, so they withdrew. If there is a headquarters, the museum will better organize the coordination and exchange activities at home and abroad.”

Hue Museum of Fine Arts encounters difficulties in operation in the absence of headquarters (Photo taken before the COVID-19 outbreak)

Painter Nguyen Thien Duc, Chairman of the Fine Arts Association, said that the location of the Hue Museum of Fine Arts enjoys the attention from the public, especially writers and artists. The headquarters of Hue Museum of Fine Arts is a necessary cultural institution for the city, but for a few years, there has been no specific site.

Currently, it is hard for the Fine Arts Association to organize big activities, especially the national events. Most organization of activities is patchy.

For a long time, there has been no spacious exhibition space. For each exhibition, the Fine Arts Association has to select the works of moderate size, which limits the artist's creative ability. Many people seek to paint large-format works, but do not have a site to display, so they have to paint medium-sized works.

The museum's external relations, especially association with partners, are also very difficult. According to Assoc. Prof. Dr. Phan Thanh Binh, former Rector of University of Arts - Hue University, this does not enable the Hue Museum of Fine Arts to show its position and role.

He said uneasily, “The museum was born, but there is no location - that is, it does not exist genuinely, causing a feeling of insecurity for the fine arts circle. It also embarrasses the museum staff upon working with partners. They don't know how to answer because the museum has no specific address. Some people who desire to donate works to the museum ask whether the works are on display. I don't know how to reply."

The proper location sought

According to painter Dang Mau Tuu, choosing a location for the Hue Museum of Fine Arts necessitates a look towards the future, with a centenary vision. It should not be thought that there have not yet been many works of painting, so a small office should be temporarily used. The Provincial People's Council in the previous tenure had the right view for the future when it proposed using the headquarters of the Provincial People's Committee as the Hue Museum of Fine Arts, after the Provincial People's Committee moves to a new location.

In the same opinion, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Phan Thanh Binh said that the museum is the face of the city, so the location must be in the center. The province’s policy of cultural space planning on Le Loi Street is correct, so Hue Fine Arts Museum located on Le Loi Street is the most ideal. The scale of the museum space must be large enough to organize activities.

“While the Hue Museum of Fine Arts has no headquarters, the 15 Le Loi site, which has been deserted for several years, is very wasteful. The establishment of the Hue Museum of Fine Arts, which has been mentioned for the past 30 years, now comes true. However, the specific location is unavailable. The provincial leaders should give attention to fully solving this problem," emphasized Binh.

Painter Nguyen Thien Duc suggested that a certain governmental office no longer in use should not be chosen to convert its function into a museum. Museum space must be properly planned, designed and constructed to last for hundreds of years, offering sustainable value. It is not necessarily grandiose and modern, but at least there must be a space that meets the standards of a museum. If adequately invested, the museum will attract a lot of visitors.

Currently, Hue Museum of Fine Arts developed the project to promote the formation of a space to exhibit the museum's works. Based on the project "Cultural and artistic space in Hue City center" on Le Loi Street axis, the section from Phu Xuan Bridge to Truong Tien Bridge of the Provincial People's Committee, the museum proposes a museum location suitable for the project to bring into play value  and attract visitors.

Story and photos: Minh Hien