Sky Horse Valley Project - Feb 19th 2019
Ambitious Arts Project - Fuel The Dream - Inspire Imagination
Dear Dao Anh Khanh,
Thank you again for sharing this project with me.
As you might have heard, I moved to the US with my family. Thus I was very busy with all the transition.
But your project was always in my mind and I put it on my priority list for 2016.
So here we go…
A while ago you gave me the Vietnamese text of your project. I had it translated by a translator in HCMC. I am sure the English translation is not the best and it might not reflect the true meaning of what you wrote in the Vietnamese text. Nevertheless, I will not comment on the meaning of words, mainly on the content and the “why”. This brings me already to my main point, the “why”.
It is very important to mention that all the feedback I give you here is not personal. I really admire your art and the way you see the life and love. Thus whatever I write here is very specific to your project. And I give you my feedback in the hope it might help you to improve it and make it even better.
In summary, what is missing in the concept text you gave me is the “why”. Why is this project needed, why should people be interested, why should someone invest in this?
Again, I am writing this not as a critisim. I know very well that you have it all sorted out in your mind. Now the missing piece is to put it down on paper in writing. Once this is done, it is very easy to approach potential investors or the general public, create a website, make brochures etc.
If you have it clearly written on paper, it is simple to communicate to the audience, the visitors and the investors.
The concept has high potential in Vietnam.There is nothing comparable right now in Vietnam. Thus the time is right and you are the perfect person to complete such an immense masterpiece. So the idea is great!
To make your project sustainable and assure it will last for long, it must have a clear message. What is the “take-home” message the visitors should have when they came to your park.
And based on this message, you have to build the story, the concept and the park.
What name will you chose?
The name will be what people will remember and communicate to their friends. Thus it should be a name that contains your main idea and which is easy to remember. Additionally, it should have a good English translation so the park can be heard by non-Vietnamese people too.
Based on your text, the following was mentioned why you want the park:
- The sake of contemporary art
- taking the cultural life and art of Vietnam to new heights
- gaining access to the lastest art
- showing the world a special image of a new Vietnam.
It is not clear how and why you want to achieve these 4 points with your park.
Afterwards you mention that the art should be as following:
Again, it is not clear how these attributes fit in your concept. How does this fit in the overall message you want to give to the public with your park.
Here is how I interpret your 6 elements:
- Conquerors: 36 old quarter Hanoi. You go further with yourself, increase the join-strength between the human and the universe. This the reflection of yourself and the outside world.
- Region of effortless action: Is a leaf to meditate in nature. This is to go inside yourself.
- Heaven and earth: 99 status towers, unifying the society and showing that together much higher goals can be achieved. This is about the society and the commune.
- Heaven in earth: High and low, master and beeing mastered. This is how you drive the society and how the society drives you.
- Maze: life is a maze, people deroute, get stuck or end in dead-ends. The ultimate driving force to go through the maze is love. Love to your partner, your kids, partents, work, hobbies, art , science. This is a labyrinth, it is to remove boundaries to live for love. About pasion and love.
- Peace: Hoa Binh province, the beauty of music for peace and happiness. This is for your senses, especially your auditory sense.
Then you also list the following:
- Gate of male and female
- 6 sculptures of artists
- Heavenly horses
What brings these elements together?
Can you reduce from the 6 elements to 5?
For example, could you say that your park is about exploring the 5 elements on earth?
Wood – Fire – Earth – Metal – Water (-back to Wood)
And then you assign each of the parts of your park to one of the elements.
I know this looks very simple and childish, and I don’t mean you should do it like that.
But what is missing is the overall message or concept what this park is about. The image above shows nicely how the elements are combined in the Yin and Yang. Each of the elements could be one of your parts (the maze, the 36 conquerors…). This will then put all into one story.
Again this is a very simple illustration and I dont want to put your project on such a simple level. But the message and the relationship of your different art pieces need to be connected somehow.
This will be very easy for the Vietnamese people to understand and explore.
When they walk through your park and interact with the different elements (maze, heaven on earth…) they can easily make the connection to WHY.
Or another option could be the 5 senses of humans?
You could put the whole concept of the park under the meaning of the 5 senses. Then each of your elements (maze, 99 sculptures, 36 conquerors…) will represent one of the 5 senses.
What you really want at the end of the day with your park is to give the people a message.
What is the message, why this park?
What can the people experience in the park?
What do they bring home when they visited the park?
What do they tell their friends and families after visiting your park?
What will they say?
When I read your concept, I understand that you want the visitor to perform a “self-reflection”.
You need a simple message like that . This message will go into the mindset of the visitors. And this will be spread from people to people.
How can you simplify your park and all the elements around one simple message?
How can you connect all the elements under one “story”
Very often art is very sophisticated and complicated. Not understandable by the simple man. Very often only the educated elite can reach and understand such sophisticated art.
This means it is not accessible by the general public.
With your park you want to do the opposite. You want to create art that is accessible by the public. Art that can be touched and felt. Art you can interact and explore. Create a feeling.
You want to create a change in the mindset of the people who visit your park.
To achieve that you need a very simple message. You need a concept that unifies all the elements in your park under one.
Then the people will understand why they should visit the park, what they can expect and what they can take home.
This will be a true message…
You want to catch the people by their most accessible attribute, which is their nature. You want to catch the visitors through your art by something everyone has. You want to guide them through your different elements to experience themselve and the nature around them.
The purpose should be to trigger a change in their preception about themselve and the society.
It should be simple, direct, visual. Vietnamese people will get that by your park.
It should be interactive, emotional and large. Vietnamese people will get that by your park.