Last update 11/22/2010 9:52:27 PM (GMT+7)

Environment to nurture art

VietNamNet Bridge – An open environment will nurture art and make the nation proud of its prominent artists, said Huynh Buu Son, a and well known Vietnamese businessman.

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VietNamNet, in an effort to present a multi-angled view on the hot issue of the support of Vietnamese businessmen for the development of Vietnam’s art scene, talked with businessman Huynh Buu Son. Prior to that, it had also conducted interviews with many other well known figures, such as artist Tran Luong, MA of Culture Nguyen Dinh Thanh, Associate Professor Nguyen Van Huy and art critic Phan Cam Thuong.

You are a businessman, and I know you have made a lot of research on economy, businesses and businessmen. How do you assess the awareness of and the way Vietnamese business enjoy art?

I believe that Vietnamese businessmen have big sense of enjoying art and they also have a sophisticated taste.

I know many businessmen who are very successful in their business and also very good amateur painters, musicians and writers.

There is no contradiction between the ability to run a good business and the ability to enjoy beauty. Especially, the former even creates favourable conditions for the latter.

So, businessmen can play a very important role in developing artistic programmes and projects?

The big guys in the business circle would be the best supportersof the development of artistic projects, if they want and if their support can be attracted.

As you mayknow, in many cases, businessmen are the main sponsors for many valuable cultural and artistic projects. However, I have to say that the projects must have high artistic value to be able to get businessmen’s support. As I said above, businessmen’s appreciation of art has been heightened, and they will not easily spend money on bad artistic projects.

What do you think we should do to persuade businessmen to give more support to art, especially to the projects with high artistic values instead of focusing on popular cultural activities, such as fashion shows or beauty contests?

I think that fashion shows or beauty contests are also artistic programmes. Businesses aalways readily sponsorsuch programmes, because as you said, theyare popular and familiar to the public, i.e. they are favoured by many people, therefore, they always make hot topics on newspapers.

And, of course, businesses understand well that the audience of the programmes includes their existing and potential clients. Therefore, they want to sponsor the programmes in order to maintain customers’ recognition of their brands.

Meanwhile, professional artistic programmes are not the “programmes of the masses”, therefore, they are certainly less attractive in the eyes of the people and entities, who “live on the masses”, like enterprises.

What should we do to cultivate the spirit for businessmen with cultural appreciation?

I have to repeat that Vietnamese businessmen have become choosier in enjoying culture and art in accordance with the development of their knowledge and successes in their businesses.

I don’t think that the problem here is that we still cannot build up real cultural and artistic appreciation.

The bad thing is that even though the national economy doesn’t develop that fast, but the education, culture and art still cannot keep up the pace.

Some culturists say that in order to succeed, businessmen not only rely on their efforts and capability, but they also need the support from the community. Therefore, when they succeed, they need to “repay” the society which helps them get rich. What do you think about this?

It is true that the success of businessmen not only depends on their ability, but also on the business environment and the community.

However, regarding what you have mentioned, that businessmen have to give back to the society, I think that they do this all the time by paying taxes which are always very big. In fact, the richness of businessmen will become the achievements of the community, because they cannot bring their assets with themselves after their death, right?

We can see that many South Korean and Chinese businessmen have been very successful in penetrating Vietnam’s market through the cultural channel. After watching South Korean films, Vietnamese consumers became familiar with South Korean products. What do you think about this? Do you think Vietnamese businessmen can do the same thing?

South Korea, in the past three decades, and China, in the past 20 years, have implemented policies to develop culture based on the liberty in art creation and thinking

Their cultural and artistic have gone beyond their border lines and have really brought very big cultural and economic benefits. I wish Vietnamese businessmen can learn the lessons.

Non-profit cultural funds can play a very important role in cultural development. Do you think so?

It is not so easy to establish such funds in Vietnam, and we know what the reasons are. I think that State should be more open in the fields of arts and culture.

How to combine the efforts of talented artists and successful businessmen to createartistic value for the society?

We cannot make decisions and do things for artists or businessmen. In an open environment, they will know well what to do and how to cooperate to develop art and culture.

Tran Dong