Groundbreaking

Definitive Vietnamese Art Exhibition at New York's Asia Society

The United States is getting an unprecedented look at its one-time enemy with the latest exhibit at New York’s Asia Society, “Arts of Ancient Viet Nam.” The exhibit, which curator, Nancy Tingley, worked on for more than 20 years, features 100 objects spanning nearly 2,000 years of history. “We wanted to create a new story,” Asia Society Director Vishakha Desai said of the show. “Politics got in the way for some years, but we’ve gotten beyond that,” Tingley said. Before 2003, Vietnam did not have a law allowing for museum objects to be loaned. But ten Vietnamese museums eventually ended up lending objects for “Arts of Ancient Viet Nam,” which showcases the country’s unique people and their foundation of trade and commerce. The exhibit may help heal the wounds the Vietnam War left behind. “Arts and culture have always provided a bridge to mutual understanding among the peoples of the world,” the general director of the Department of Cultural Heritage in Vietnam said.