Last update 11/15/2010 4:45:20 PM (GMT+7)

Cultural development support should be set as a criterion to rank businesses
VietNamNet Bridge – “I feel sad that repaired embellishment of the O Quan Chuong, the site of the ancient east gate of the five gates to Hanoi Citadel, was supported by the US Embassy in Vietnam, while big Vietnamese enterprises did not think of supporting repair work that has such a high cultural significance”, Painter Le Thiet Cuong told VietNamNet’s Vietnam Economic Forum (VEF) when talking about culture socialization in Vietnam.

Academic art in Vietnam needs support from businessmen

Businessmen, please support culture development, but don’t interfere

The term “culture socialization” has recently become a common term in Vietnam, which is understood that the State and other entities in society share the same responsibility of protecting and developing cultural works and activities.

Businessmen are one of the most important entities in culture socialization. What is your opinion about the role of Vietnamese businessmen in cultural support nowadays?

In principle, every one needs to learn to understand the culture. Therefore, businessmen also need to learn to know how to fund cultural activities. If they do not have deep knowledge about culture, they will not be able to give effective and necessary support.

You can be a successful businessman and when your business prospers, you really want to express your gratefulness to society by spending your money to repair a pagoda or a temple. However, as you do not understand the ancient architecture value, you may spoil the pagoda or the temple.

Nowadays, it seems that businesses only focus on funding popular cultural activities, such as modern music and song performances, fashion performances or football matches, because the supports can bring them material values, while they do not pay much attention to what we call – the “root of culture”, i.e the things that create the biggest values for the community.

What should we do to persuade more and more businessmen to fund the “root of the culture” as you said?

Recently, many titles have been given to businessmen to recognize their contributions to society. I wonder if cultural support is a compulsory requirement to be considered when deciding to give such titles to businesses.

.I feel sad that repaired embellishment of the O Quan Chuong, the site of the ancient east gate of the five gates to Hanoi Citadel, was supported by the US Embassy in Vietnam, while big Vietnamese enterprises did not think of supporting repair work that has such a high cultural significance.

What should businessmen do to fund cultural activities and use their money in the most effective way?

In principle, when businessmen spend money they have the right to be heard. Therefore, they can impact cultural values. In Vietnam, sculpture camps are in every province under the idea of culture socialization. However, it sees that the investment in the camps remains very limited.

As you may know, in the past, Vietnam was very good at sculpture, while painting did not develop until the appearance of Dong Ho painting. However, things are going on the reverse way: painting is developing strongly, while sculpture has become quiet.

We have high rise modern buildings located in the central areas of city, and all the area there is used for the commercial purpose, while there is no small space used for displaying sculpture or painting works for people to enjoy.

It seems that businessmen need to harmonize the works of making money and spending money on cultural development. What would you do if you were a businessman?

The State should set up reasonable policies to encourage businesses to make investments in culture. In the US, a private painting collection is displaying at the contemporary art museum. In this case, all the involved sides can get benefit. The family, which owns the collection, has the place to display their valuable collection, the state does not have to spend money to buy paintings, while people can enjoy the artistic works free of charge. I have found out that the owner of the collection is the owner of GAP, a fashion company in the US. They are rich businessmen and they have deep knowledge about culture.

Do you think that businessmen need to change its minds and have more interests in cultural values?

You know, Lenin once said that in order to understand the arts, everyone has to learn them. Therefore, in order to enjoy art and fund art development, they also have to learn.

Not only businessmen, but the State and society also need to keep a long term vision in investing to develop cultural values. The thing which interests me most is classical music, especially chamber music. However, I feel that the society does not pay attention to this more developed type of music.

“Dirty” cultures may spoil generations.

What should we do, what intellectuals, artists and businessmen should cooperate with each other in order to create high cultural values for the community?

President Ho Chi Minh one wrote a letter to Duc Minh, asking Minh to lend two paintings of Bui Xuan Phai and Nguyen Tu Nghiem for a President’s reception. This is a lesson other leaders should learn.

Vo Van Kiet, when working as the Secretary General of the HCM City Party Committee, decided to spend money to purchase the biggest painting of Gia Tri to display at HCM City Arts Museum. This is the most expensive painting in history bought by the State.

Tran Dong – Tat Dat