Matters of care or matters of aesthetic? An investigation in Vietnamese art and design

The goal of this project was to understand the complex social and material relationships between artists, incubators, the city and government in the context of Vietnamese art and design. Inspired by STS, it analysed how art, design and aesthetics are relational - how they are co-constituted by socio-cultural values in their context – including values of care.

Care is seen an ontological requirement of relational worlds, part of the ‘doings needed to create, hold together and sustain life’s essential heterogeneity’ (Puig de la Bellasca, 2012, p. 198), and so analysing how economies of art and design hold together through relations of care is at the heart of this inquiry.

Other key questions included: how are Vietnamese art and design emerging and engaging with the social and technical? How are Vietnamese art and design relating to the global market? What constitute the values of Vietnamese art and design - and how do these translate or travel? What is the role of designers and artists in this process? The project used participant observations and interviews with Vietnamese artists and designers and was facilitated by The British Council in Vietnam.