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Five Creative Spaces In Ho Chi Minh City

This post is also available in: Vietnamese

As a center for creativity in Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City has attracted communities interested in developing creative spaces and creating platforms for younger voices.

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Library space at The Factory Contemporary Arts Center.

Journalist Truong Uyen Ly explains, “All creative spaces have a common goal: connecting creative, cultural, and technological communities to develop interdisciplinary businesses.” Evidently, creative spaces vary. Creative spaces can be physical spaces such as cafes, libraries, or galleries. Creative spaces can also be community development projects, seminars, or workshops. With the recent growth in creatives, these spaces are becoming more and more active, functioning as new hubs that inspire young, driven individuals. Here’s our latest round up of creative spaces around Ho Chi Minh City.

Ca Phe Thu Bay Tre: Academic & Cultural Cafe for the Youth

Before building Ca Phe Thu Bay Tre cafe, musician Duong Thu was inspired by the experience of sitting down to a Saturday morning cup of coffee; he aimed to replicate this spirit of unwinding and ease through conversations with loved ones. Ultimately, Duong Thu envisioned the cafe as a space for creatives to connect, share, and learn from each other.

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“You are here because you are the focus; you are the subject matter, of the speaker, and of the participants.” | Source: Internet.

In true spirit, Ca Phe Thu Bay Tre has been able to retain these core values. Every Friday and Saturday evening, the space hosts film screenings, performances, or discussions surrounding societal issues. At Ca Phe Thu Bay, there is no right or wrong, but rather only new ideas and perspectives.

“Since the issues raised are often academic, people come to Ca Phe Thu Bay Tre to learn and discuss a wide array of topics. The young people that come here are the focus; they are the subject matter, the speaker, and the participants,” Duong Thu asserts.

If you love a space where knowledge serves as a thread to connect people, try spending a Saturday morning visiting Ca Phe Thu Bay Tre.

Address: 264 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia, W.8, D.3, HCMC
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The Factory Contemporary Arts Centre: Vietnamese Contemporary Art

The Factory Contemporary Art Center has become one of the most prominent creative spaces in Ho Chi Minh, attracting some of the most innovative and inventive young creative minds. This 500-square-meter, industrial space also hosts many exhibitions from the best Vietnamese artists, such as Bui Cong Khanh, Tuan Miami, Tuan Andrew Nguyen, and Phan Thao Nguyen, the winner of the prestigious Signature Art Prize 2018.

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A moment of display in the series ‘Forget romantic poetry’ by artist Phan Thao Nguyen at The Factory.

The Factory was founded by designer Ti-A Thuy Nguyen, who seeks to share and promote the value of contemporary art in her home country. Since its founding, The Factory has constantly been transformed into various exhibitions with carefully curated artworks and advanced workshops. In addition, The Factory offers art tours to help visitors visualize the concepts behind the works and gain insight about how artists complete their exhibitions.

Address: 15 Nguyen U Di, W. Thao Dien, D.2, HCMC
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Xine House: Home of the Film-Maker

Xine House was founded to address Phan Gia Nhat Linh’s personal need for a space to chat with friends about cinematology and network with other youth involved in film. Now, a year later, Xine House is one of the most active creative spaces in Ho Chi Minh City for young cinema lovers.

Director Phan Gia Nhat Linh and Xine House

Recognized for his contributions to many Vietnamese films such as “Em la ba noi cua anh” (“Sweet 20”) and “Co gai đen tu hom qua” (“The Girl from Yesterday”), Phan Gia Nhat Linh firmly invested his heart and passion into curating this creative space. Currently, Xine House focuses on two main activities: screen talk (film screening and discussion) and film-making classes.

This year, Xine House plans to launch “Linh Tinh Lang Tang.” In this series, people will be able to present a movie idea or three-minute story, receive feedback, and potentially experiment with the film-making process. “With the creative atmosphere at Xine House, everything, from the field of cinematology to visual storytelling, starts from stories,” Director Nhat Linh added.

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Xine House’s small library collects many books adapted from movies, all of which are open to the public to browse through.

Address: Room 1404 Section D, Pham Viet Chanh Apartment, 79 Pham Viet Chanh, W.19, D.Binh Thanh, HCMC
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Toong Coworking Space: A green haven in the heart of Saigon

Ho Chi Minh’s increasingly dynamic startup market and freelance work has given common workshops a chance to optimize project cultivation and establish potential partnerships. After observing the tremendous growth of common workspaces, founder and CEO Duong Do established Toong Coworking Space, a creative space in Ho Chi Minh which continues to both refine and redefine the workspace structure.

Instead of working in static, fixed communities, Toong encourages people from different platforms and working fields to interact withe each other. Duong excitedly shares, “Rather than remaining plugged in at work, we want you to overcome the respective differences between you and others and initiate a new conversation.”

With the goal of fostering an interaction between people, nature, and space, Toong also attracts many young creatives through its cafe and event space, where workshops, seminars, and exhibitions are regularly held. One of our favorite Toong spaces is their location on 126 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, of which a Vietcetera Spaces video covered the story.

Address: 126 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, D.3, HCMC
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Cai To Nho: The joy of improvisation

“As a stage director, I love theater and understand that this type of art extends beyond just performing on stage. I want to utilize my knowledge and professional experience to create activities that would foster a community,” shared Ms. An Le.

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An activity in ‘Discover the movement’ class of Cai To Nho. | Source: Cai To Nho.

With the overwhelming and unforgiving pace of modern society, An believes that every individual must learn how to reconnect with themselves, the community, and nature in order to lead a happy life. Cai To Nho offers developmental education through art for individuals of all ages.

With workshops and courses on improvisational theater, psychological drama, movement, dance, and creative drawing, Cai To Nho generates precious and authentic creativity and wonder from every individual. In a similar regard, it creates an inclusive space that encourages different people to share and understand each other more closely.

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“Being able to create a connection between people is not only our focus, but also the core tenet of growing Cai To Nho” An Le said. | Source: The Little Nest.

Address: 193/31 Nguyen Dinh Chinh, W.11, D. Phu Nhuan, HCMC
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This post is also available in: Vietnamese