Community art and environment Project: “Last Holidays”
Submitted by Truong Thien

1. Aims / Objective / Goals of project
The project uses community art form to present ideas or feedbacks of people about a public place (Thien An hill – Thuy Tien lake) where was turned into multifunction entertainment center and business service.

There is an exhibition at region where has that place and a mobile exhibition. The project wants to create an event that people find it difficult to mention directly and openly.

Through activities of project; contacts with local people; collecting photographs; post cards printing and exhibition advertising, project wants to have effect on consciousness’s authorities of a public space and its using ability.

We have implused this project in order to develop community art experiences and impacts of art projects at local. By impacts of project to people who have benefits from public space, the project wants to see the
return state of Thien An hill or have effects from authorities.

Thousands of construction & investment projects have been promoted in Vietnam every year, impulsing an dynamic economic environment, bringing many employments to people, creating many benefit chances for both investors and local people. However, hundreds of projects carrying out have been burdens or unchangeable mistakes.

How do we maintain, preserve and develop spaces which partly create landscapes of each land with theirs traditional specific features so that
whenever people remind them, everyone thinks of these feature of their lands? especially in Hue, in rapid developing stage of current economy. The current time may be important moment defining our future from our actions.

The promotion of a project in any space needs to concern benefit elements of the public, historic factor of space, habitual factor or public interests. Other factors are the impact on landscape and environment; unshakeable development project; long term development plan of each region.

2. Brief description of project.
Last holiday has mentioned to a famous public beautiful sight where was turned into a entertainment trade place in Hue city. The project collects and exhibit more than 5000 photographs taken before April, 2004 when Thien An – Thuy Tien Lake – entertainment center came into operation. These photographs were taken with many families, friends and groups who went to camping that place. By community art’s form, the project want to explore feedbacks of issue which is difficult to say but now can be talked easily and freely.

Thien An Hill – Thuy Tien lake – lost space?

Going along Dien Bien Phu street, then turn left to Minh Mang street, you will have chance to visit a entertainment center – Thien An – Thuy tien lake, one of famous landscapes in Hue at present.
Located on a poetic hill with fresh air and pine singing all days, for a certain time, Thuy Tien lake has become an ideal place for tourists to visit every time they came to Hue. Moreover, Thien An hill is famous for profound beauty, attractive place with fresh and cool air. There is also known with Thien An Abbey where is famous for Hue traditional foods such as: jackfruit or fig mixture …Only going only 10km far from Hue city, you will come to a specific world in Thien An. For times, Hue people are often in the habit of going to Thien An to enjoy the moon or inhale fresh and so cool air. In summer days, many students of Quoc Hoc and Hai Ba Trung high schools often gather to set up camp, fly kite on the peaceful airspace with a highland space in plain region.

Quote: Hue 3600

In 2004, a entertainment center was inaugurated here:
Thuy Tien lake - entertainment place is a small copy of many entertainment centers’ models such as Dam Sen park, Suoi Tien – entertainment center in Ho Chi Minh city or big entertainment park’s model of Disneyland around the world. This entertainment center has a main structure of Water Palace with dragon image embracing a globe. Inside the water place, there are many small fish basins with colorful fishes and coral and seaweed. The place for water slide and outside bathing place include a system of complicated slide pipes. Water music area and grand stand consists of over 300 seats. There has many service centers for accommodation and entertainment such as tea shops, Hue food restaurants; duck boats, water motorbike, sailboat and many pleasure house hiding in pine hill.

3. Methodology / Implementation of project
Realistic images: After 4 years for operation, how the entertainment center is. We spent a whole year for field trips. The objective (purpose) is to reglect truthfully happening real situations. In the previous article’s quotation, it was said that there was hundreds of tourists coming there but now, whenever we got there, there only had a small group of 2 or 3 people and there had no one in somedays. All infrastructure systems has been downgraded because of lack of care, there has no longer many services except a small tea shop.
Surprisingly, people still sell ticket for entrance, visiting water palace although there has nothing to visit. Other services like water music, water slide, cistern have been out of use.

How can we believe in images of tourist advertising or in information of press?

Before, through these information, we read a introduction article of an imposing and worthy entertainment center in Hue. There had many perfect services and some projects to upgrade, expand other entertainment services.

How the feedbacks of inhabitants can be considered as authority’s saying?

Hue people still think of why they lost a public playing place? (they must buy ticket to enter at present). By many conversations or communications, we have taken out basic opinions as following:

Dragon (Structure of Water Palace – Thuy Tien Lake) is an enigmatic image which is not appropriate for peaceful, poetic, natural lanscape of Thien An hill./ People no longer come to Thien An hill because they must buy ticket although there is youth entertainment place./ There has few services and they are too monotonous./ What do they go to the mountain to see sea fish for./ Why they have to go to the mountain for water sliding?/ These business forms have strongly influenced Hue environment and scenery./ Let Thien An hill be primitive state.

Activities and contents:
In the project, we collect some necessary document, it will be a part of the work in texts and images. The desire of project is collecting more than 5000 photographs of family abum in Hue, the photographs of traveling, camping trip in Thien An Hill and Thuy Tien Lake. These photographs had been taken before the time of April, 2004 when entertainment place project in Thuy Tien Lake began to action.

To have these photographs, we will collect from two sources: the individual (private) relationship and volunteers’ help.

Volunteers include 10 students. They will contact with their relatives in family, friends and other people. In order to work effectively, ten volunteers will have about ten days continuously to contact, distribute questionnaires, fill in question forms composed by the project. They have tasks to collect photographs by encourage (campaign) people to lend photographs, they will scan these photos and send back. This work will be carried out with guarantee paper of the project of not losing photographs and asking permission to use photographs for display in project.

Almost photographs are families, friends, group commemorative pictures of camping trip, walking... These photographs had been taken before the time of April, 2004

Text documents are used to record datas and opinions of people who came to Thien An Hill, these documents were executed before the time of April, 2004

Display and exhibition plan:
This is an exhibition combined with many art language forms and techniques such as photographs, projector, light technique…by people collaboration. This combination will create a meditative, silent, memorable space. A space of delusion between present and past is created by light, images and slow
movement of images on projector screen.

Photograph display:
About 20 photographs chosen among 5000 collected ones will be enlarged to 120x170 cm size. These photographs are covered by frame box and radiated inside by neon light.

Projecting over 5000 collected images in truly and clearly way with slow speed

People collaboration:
This is the most important part of project like the exhibition as well. Collecting photographs will be carried out before the exhibition day until the last day of exhibition, people can bring photographs to the exhibition.

4. Time frame of project.
Project has been carried out from November 2007 with many field trips, conversations with local people, exploring press information and others unofficial sources. Sketch out plan, carry out project and seek sponsor sources. Time schedule as following:

1 March 2009/ Press conference, information of project.
2 March 2009/ Advertisement for seeking volunteers.
15 March 2009/ Collecting interview documents, photographs.
20 March 2009/ Carrying out project’s plan and exhibition.
1 May 2009/ Organise the first exhibition.
25 May 2009/ The second exhibition.

5. Projected output of project (is it a workshop, a discussion, a showing etc.)
Public activities.

6. Who is your target audience for your project?
Project is carried out in Hue city, mentioning a space in Hue, so the first factor who projects aims to are local people in Hue. They might have benefits or no benefits from that space and entertainment services. Many generations came this space form 27 to 60 years old, the time when this service hadn’t been carried out.

The second factor are people who plan policies and have authorities in innovation, upgrade and public spaces changes.

The third factor are students of Hue College of Arts (will be volunteers of project), the project want to create an opportunity for students to join in community art project and learn about approaching capacities of art with the community.

7. How do you propose to disseminate information about the project to your target audience?
We will organize a press conference for introducing the project. The main purpose is to inform the content, objective and plan of the project, through this way, we will invite public who have interests to contribute, have feedbacks and images for the project. Newspaper is an online information channel through duration of the project until the exhibition opening.

Collaborators are considered as PR members, representative faces of project with each specific individual. Collaborator have known thoroughly and grasped contents and project’s works. They have task to inform the whole information to concerned people in the working range of collaborators.

We will use post cards, posters, catalogues, invitation as main image information of project. The 5 cards with different design styles will be distributed freely to the public and need feedbacks or opinions on card backs. Post card will be displayed in exhibition. Posters will be printed and distributed in art colleges or in other public places. Catalogues will be printed before the exhibition as a information resource of activities already taken place of project. Statistical data and number of people who had feedbacks or collected photographs for project will be chosen and printed here.

8. How do you think your project will create impact on the art communities/the cultures that you want to engage with?
By carrying out field trip, exploring and talking about the project, we rose up a proper interest that people seem to forget it in their busy life. Immediately, many people want to join in or do something that they can show theirs opinions that are the feedbacks we want to gain in executing the project. So we construct an easy practice art form for people to show their opinions freely (photograph and interview ideas in text)

We evaluate the impact of project by two criteria: feedback of the public to the project and change abilities that the project can do for the space of Thuy Tien lake in future.

With feedbacks of the public: People who came to Thuy Tien lake and had souvenir photographs before the time of April 2004 can contribute photographs directly.

The impacts are also in other forms: postcard models are designed by the project and send to everyone. The public can write theirs ideas on these postcards and send back to project.

With the impact bringing conversion features: pamphlets advertising exhibition before the exhibition opening, catalogues printed in exhibition will be sent continuously to the authorities, the current managers of Thuy Tien lake – tourist area; cultural managers of city council and the authorities of projects developing landscape of the city.

How will it develop the field of your art form?

Materials of Arts seem to be available in community. In current arts, the public can have their own rights, the right for looking at or reflecting problems by a way (tool) in arts. The promotion of community arts project is also a capacity of arts regarded as possible factor to talk of current and complex problems.

Truong Thien
Lo 8, Tran Van Ky st, Tay Loc, Hue city, Vietnam.
Tel: 00 84 54 3 524249
Secretary: Le Thi Thuy Tien
Assistant: Phan Le Chung
Tran Thanh Son