FUTURE OF TIME Workshop & Art Showcase - Curatorial Text

Future of Time is a workshop and exhibition of visual arts, sculptures and installation on the occasion of the very first VinFuture Prize. It is also the first time that a workshop is held on the campus of a university that is not an art school. It is also unique to have a science and technology award ceremony accompanied by an art exhibition. 

Before becoming a manager, a computer scientist, or anyone else, one must first and foremost be a human. Any given higher education environment must be a humanistic education. The future of these people starts today, from a humanistic education, a liberal art education. An artist may not understand formulas of mathematics, physics, but a software engineer, a doctor must possess a beautiful soul, must understand literature and arts, as the nature of liberal education is to teach people how to learn, to think, and to live. There is no field of science, of art that excludes human values. Art is always a personal story, an individual path of each artist, is style. So does education. Education is individualising education. This is where art and education meet. 

       There is time in future, and future in time. Education in itself is investing in the future, heading towards the future. Scientists measure the future of time with technology solutions, from sand hourglasses to quartz clocks, atomic clocks… Art measures time with beauty, with a beautiful palette, beautiful blend of colours, beautiful melodies… 

       Workshop Future of Time lasts one week and ends with an exhibition of the same name, which includes works from 20 artists. Each of them has their own way to measure, to tell stories of the future of time. 

For artist NGUYỄN NGỌC TUẤN, there always exist beautiful things in the life around us. He always loves to get a hold of those by recording them with the colours of art. 

       Artist NGUYỄN TRẦN CƯỜNG believes that nature and greenery always evoke sentiments in him. Therefore, he wants to portray them in the most sincere way.

Sculptor NGUYỄN NGỌC LÂM uses the image of the Kite for his work on the campus of VinUni. The message conveyed is that knowledge and education are like the kite that lets our souls and dreams soar. 

For artist LÊ ĐĂNG NINH the stories of fallen aircrafts in Hanoi in the 1960s, and the paper airplane game back in school days, are the memories that bring him back in time, like reminders of our nation’s history and the beautiful things that we have been through. Ninh uses corrugated iron combined with paper-folding art origami to recreate the game of paper airplanes on a campus. The art installation “Paper Airplane” serves as a tribute to history, and to childhood memories. 

Ethnic groups in the mountainous regions are the subject that artist LÊ THẾ ANH has been pursuing for many years now. He will continue to work on this theme in this workshop. 

Artist HOÀNG LONG HẢI believes that education is history - the history that was, has been, and will be continued. In other words - education is time - education will exist for as long as humans do. The two paintings - each represents the past - present - future, conveying the permanence of education, is placed on display as a panorama: in the end, the existence of a human being is truly modest in comparison to the greatness of education. Borrowing familiar images of modernised motifs on ancient Vietnamese bronze drums, Hoàng Long Hải believes that cultural heritage (especially arts) will be preserved and remain forever in time. It is because education is time, education is extensive writings, human is simply the bridge for the  immortality of knowledge. 

Sculptor LÊ LẠNG LƯƠNG can feel the movement of the mountains, between the earth and the sky (with the posture of humans). For Lê Lạng Lương, everything can change. 

For artist NGUYỄN THU THỦY, colourful dots create a dimensional depth and convey a hidden meaning, layers glistening under layers. The coloured dots also create an indefinite sense of time, as well as of different dimensions of space. 

For sculptor ĐÀO TÂN, some things are just moments, some are things that forever instil in us. Space engulfs everything, suddenly at times we feel a familiar space buried deep in our mind, seemingly forgotten. It might be happy, might be sad, might be nostalgic…, but the space of the past has disappeared, as well as of today, of tomorrow. To think about what has gone by is not to immerse ourselves in it, but to appreciate the present even more today. 

Sculptor TRẦN AN takes inspiration from the space and landscape at VinUni, his work resembles thousand-year-old foliage weathered by time, leaving only the core and veins that nurture new life. This new life branches out with spheres similar to leaf and flower buds full of energy, looking towards the sky, waiting for the right moment to bloom, like a promise of a bright and brilliant future. 

Artist TRẦN MẠNH LINH is inspired by the idyllic beauty of nature with greery and water surface. Linh works depict a corner of a water lily pond, bush of cogongrass, a mirror-like water surface reflecting a free, peaceful lìfe… with a palette of leaf and moss greens…

Artist VĂN DƯƠNG THÀNH presents an impressive and semi-abstract style. For her, colours are vibrant and melodic. Of the colourful roses blooming in VinUni garden, there are older generation roses with only the sepals left, next to the thriving ones and the fresh new buds, like conveying the continuation between generations, the harmony, solidarity, the unity towards beauty, radiating love and compassion.   

Artist TRỊNH CẨM NHI draws inspiration from the image of the sun, her works using gradations of colours to show the direction of light, signifying images of greenery as a symbol of good things nurtured through time. 

Artist VŨ KIM THƯ believes that when the pandemic begins is when we spend more time in front of a screen, from work to entertainment, from education to the news. We cannot change the information, but we can change on attitude towards it. Then if you have a television channel of your own, what would you want to broadcast? Vũ Kim Thư wants to experiments with cardboard TV and light to create television channels of her own. So what news do you see in these TV screens?   

Sculptor LƯƠNG VĂN VIỆT brings in the artwork Puzzle piece. As we build our lives, on a certain aspect, we always look for connections to create something whole and stable from which we can grow together. In art, puzzle pieces are linked together, it’s a way of shaping the sculptures that offers more perspectives and conveys the artist’s idea as a whole.

Artist ĐỖ HIỆP wants to use recycled materials and light as a reminder of each individual’s responsibility to the future. Through his work, he wants to say that a beautiful and attractive flower will become toxic if not used the right way.

The work of painter VÀNG HẢI HƯNG is inspired by VinUni’s space and changes in architectural style, and wants to record the atmosphere, time and people during these end-of-year days which are still being affected by COVID-19.

Impressed by VinUni’s space and its students’ spirit, painter CAO THỤC finds the right emotion and materials to make art. His two artworks are inspired by the large door frames that reflect the space inside and outside the university, representing parts of his feelings during the time he works here.

The work of sculptor VŨ BÌNH MINH conveys the emotions about the morphological diversity, energetic movements and changes in nature, or the rotations of time and space - the multivariable movement of life.

Sculptor THÁI NHẬT MINH gets his inspiration from the images of gods in ancient cultures which are symmetrical, balanced, quiet. His work “Holy Maiden” is like a gateway connecting reality with the illusory spatial domains in the viewer's mind.


More than 2,500 years ago, Gautama Buddha coined the idea of  “oneness”, all is one. One contains all, all in one. "Each drop of dew is immense" (Trinh Cong Son). Science today has also proven that all is one, matter can be converted into energy, space and time are one. Time is one of the dimensions of space.

The great poet Nguyễn Du said the same thing in the opening sentence of Tale of Kieu: "A hundred years in this life span on earth". A hundred years is time, the life span is space.

       Science, engineering, and technology all aim to make human life better and more beautiful. Like time, art is a dimension of space. Art, time, space is one, is one beauty, is beautiful.


                                                        Curator LÊ THIẾT CƯƠNG

                                                          January 2022

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