27 March 2016|Zero near Infinity (Zero Station)

Today’s story is about Zero Station, the art space I worked with in Ho Chi Minh City. Before the symposium begins in the evening at Zero station, where I will also present, I have the opportunity to sit down with Nguyen Nhu Huy, its founder. I know Huy from Koganechô Bazaar, where we crossed paths numerous times. For this trip of mine to conduct research in Vietnam, his organization kindly hosts me.

This is the entrance to Zero Station.

This is how it looks inside: It’s huge!

This is the working area.

There is a kitchen and it’s possible to be an artist-in-residence, too.

This is the gallery.

As an artist and curator, Huy is full of vitality. He is a vigorous Vietnamese.

This is Huy, the founder. Once he starts talking, he doesn’t stop.

But he’s loads of fun.

Huy founded Zero Station in 2010. He began it by himself. With an exhibition space, a living space, and a library, the space held screenings, workshops, and educational programs for the general public. As a part of his methodology, Huy believes that, it is important to integrate other genres such as philosophy and sociology rather than focusing solely on activities traditionally considered art. Huy also teaches at non-art universities, where he lectures on contemporary art as a way of thinking, and not just as a technique. Furthermore, he coordinates events such as flea markets and yoga classes at Zero Station so that students as well as adults and the general public can participate in Zero Station’s activities. He believes that such a space provides opportunities for artists and the general public to interact with one another.

There is a big garden, which is where the flea market is held.

There is mural on the wall.

On alternative art spaces, Huy emphasizes that the specific place itself is not as important as its continuity as a contemporary and independent location, with survival being the most significant issue. Laughing, Huy notes that, “For that purpose, working with the larger community and connecting with the youth is indispensable; it doesn’t matter if Zero Station continues to transform into something new”. His stance that “We can do anything because we are zero” left a lasting impression.

After my interview with Huy, members of Ho Chi Minh City’s art community and its art collectives gather at Zero Station. I introduce Ongoing to everyone, and we have heated discussion on the topic of “How to survive as alternative spaces?”

There are many participants!

The audience pay close attention despite my poor English!

There are also non-Vietnamese visitors in the audience.

From the second half of the discussion, we include audience members in the discussion.

I am very happy that all artists I have met in Vietnam during the trip came to the symposium.
The three-hour profound discussion is so interesting that before I knew it, the discussion is over.

No number supersedes Zero.
Zero Station

Yes, this closes my Ho Chi Minh City chapter.
I enjoyed the city a lot and the food was delicious. Thank you, everyone.I will visit again soon.

Next, I am leaving for Hue, a city in central Vietnam.

  • Zero Station

    12, road 43, Lam Van Ben, Binh Thuan ward, District 7, Ho Chi Minh City
    Established Year: 2010
    Facility and Activity: Gallery, Residence, Talk, Workshop, Music Event, Planning and Coordination of Art Project