Nha San Collective
Nhà Sàn Collective (NSC) began operating as an independent artist collective in Hanoi in 2013, when a group of friends set up their publicly accessible space. With or without a physical base, NSC has worked with fellow companions and collaborators to organize exhibitions, workshops, film screenings, talks and other activities as a supporting platform for artists in the community. An initiative for exchanges, expansions and connections. A place that's also open toward works-in-progress and the unexpected, a just-do-it attitude which doesn't always yield answers. Some of the Collective's main projects, which have been held on numerous occasions, are Skylines With Flying Peoplee, IN:ACT Performance Art Festival, Queer Forever!, Emerging Artists program, among others.
The name Nhà Sàn signifies the Collective's foundation which is rooted in the spirit of Nhà Sàn Studio, an artist-run space founded in 1998 in Hanoi. The original Nhà Sàn, a house on stilts, was taken in 2020. In the Ngoc Thuy area by the bank of the Red River, the artists imagine this house to become the Nhà Sàn Collective space, rebuilt, and transformed.
Nhà Sàn Studio (NSS) was founded in 1998 by artists Nguyễn Mạnh Đức and Trần Lương. It was the first and is, to date, the longest running non-profit experimental art space in Vietnam. The studio nurtured several generations of the most imaginative and daring contemporary artists in the country.
The studio, housed in Nguyễn’s family home, is a Mường ethnic minority house on stilts that was transplanted from the mountains to a neighborhood in the outskirts of Hanoi. Opening intermittently, Nhà Sàn created space for experimentation and community.
Nhà Sàn Studio quickly became a nexus for international art exchange: hosting lectures, and workshops, sound, video, installation and performance art. Along with providing artists with the chance to experiment with art forms distinct from state pedagogy and commercial markets, Nhà Sàn connected local artists with opportunities for exchange abroad, and hosted a wide range of international projects, and artists in Vietnam.
Nhà Sàn Studio nurtured the first generation of Vietnamese avant-garde artists emergent in the early 1990’s. These artists include Trương Tân, Trần Lương, Nguyễn Văn Cường, Nguyễn Minh Thành, Nguyễn Quang Huy, Ea Sola, Nguyễn Mạnh Hùng, Phạm Ngọc Dương, Nguyễn Minh Phước, Nguyễn Xuân Sơn (Sơn X), and Kim Ngọc.
Nhà Sàn continues to be valuable resource for an emerging generation of artists, including Nguyễn Trinh Thi, Nguyễn Phương Linh, Nguyễn Trần Nam, Nguyễn Huy An, The Appendix, Nguyễn Quốc Thành and Tuấn Mami.
In 2011, the studio closed indefinitely due to pressure from authorities.
Nhà Sàn Collective (NSC) - 2013 to present
Since the closure of Nhà Sàn Studio in 2011, following the spirit of artistic creativity and freedom, the young generation of artists re-activated Nhà Sàn by a series of mobile and guerrilla projects in public space as well as large scale projects with international institutes in Vietnam and abroad. In 2013 the group formed Nhà Sàn Collective, which supports each other in pushing the boundaries of expression in Vietnam as well as seeks and nurtures other young artists in the community with or without a physical space.
Nhà Sàn Collective relies on volunteering, private donations, and support from cultural institutions both local and abroad to operate.