Vietnamese Artists in 2021: The Most Influential
Vietnamese is a fascinating language, and what better way to learn it than by immersing yourself in its culture?
The Vietnamese art scene is one of the most thriving in Southeast Asia, having plenty of talented Vietnamese artists. From trendy influencers to inspiring photographers, Vietnam has it all.
If you’re learning the language and want to gain a little insight into its culture, these are some of the most relevant Vietnamese artists you have to know!
Born in 1968, Dinh Q Le is a Vietnamese-American photographer, sculpturist, and multimedia artist. He is famous for his photo weaving technique, by which two images are cut into small strips and carefully woven together on a loom.
His most memorable work explores the Vietnam War as well as collective memory and how it might inform the present. His series From Hollywood to Vietnam deals with the relationship between actual history and historical portrayals in pop culture.
Watch this English interview with Dinh Q and check the Vietnamese subtitles to learn vocabulary about art and warfare.
Son Tung M-TP is a Vietnamese singer and TV personality. His family became aware of his singing ability when he was only three years old.
Tùng has received many accolades during his musical career, which include a Mnet Asian Music Award and an MTV Europe Music Award. He was also featured in Forbes Vietnam’s 2018 30 Under 30 list.
In 2017, Tùng published an autobiography called Chạm tới giấc mơ in which he recalls listening to his grandparents singing Quan họ (a Vietnamese folk music genre) when he was a child.
He has also been influenced by artists such as Quang Vinh (his childhood idol), Rihanna and Chris Brown, as well as the Vietnamese hip hop scene. His eclectic style makes Son Tung one of the most interesting Vietnamese artists out there.
Want to learn Vietnamese with Son Tung? Listen to Có chắc yêu là đây (Are you sure love is here?) and memorize its most romantic lines.
Thấp thoáng ánh mắt đôi môi mang theo hương mê say
Em cho anh tan trong miên man quên luôn đi đêm ngày
Floating eyes, lips carrying an intoxicating scent
I let you melt in eternity, forgetting all night and day
3. Danh Vo
Danh Vo is a contemporary artist of Vietnamese descent. At present, he divides his time between Berlin and Mexico City.
His artistic projects emerge from personal relationships and incidental encounters. They usually consist of images, documents, and artifacts that contain several layers of meaning through their original ownership, their closeness to historical events, or their status as universal icons.
For his work 2.02.1861 (2009–), Danh Vo requested that his father transcribe the last letter he received from the French Catholic Saint Théophane Vénard before he was executed in 1861. His interest in identity and belonging make Danh Vo one of the most essential Vietnamese artists for people interested in Vietnam’s history and culture.
Want to learn more about his work process while listening to Danh Vo speaking in Vietnamese? Watch this interview with English subtitles and pause it to repeat key words and phrases.
4. Tran Thanh
Born in 1987, Tran Thanh is a Vietnamese comedian, actor, and presenter born and raised in Ho Chi Minh City by a mother from Tien Giang and a father of Chinese descent. Besides Vietnamese, he is fluent in English, Mandarin, and Cantonese.
One of Vietnam’s most charismatic entertainers, he has showcased his versatility and comic timing in successful TV shows such as So You Think You Can Dance and the Vietnamese version of Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? He also presented Cứ nói đi – Say it if you dare, a show for foreigners who want to learn the Vietnamese language. You can check one of its episodes below!
MC Tran Thanh is widely known as one of the funniest, smartest, and most humane Vietnamese artists and entertainers working on television.
Are you an advanced Vietnamese learner? Watch the clip below and see Tran Thanh get angry at a judge because he’s too cold with a talent show contestant.
5. Tiffany Chung
Tiffany Chung was born in 1969. She is a Vietnamese American multimedia artist who lives and works in Houston, Texas.
Her arresting work mainly consists of cartographic drawings, sculptures, film, photographs, and theater pieces. Her singular artistic vision has been largely shaped by the experience of war, migration, and the need to contribute to the Vietnamese cultural memory.
Chung’s art often takes the form of interactive workshops in which maps and cartography serve as a medium for young refugees to reflect on their experiences of survival and displacement. If you are looking for Vietnamese artists with an interesting political vision, you can’t go wrong with Chung.
Learn more about Tiffany’s singular artistic vision by watching the artist profile below:
6. Khoi My
Khoi My is a Vietnamese pop singer born on January 2, 1990 in Long Khanh. Her album The Best of Khoi My and Giay Rach and her hit songs “Goc Nho Trong Tim,” and “Gui Cho” have earned her a stellar spot among today’s most relevant Vietnamese artists. She’s also a popular Instagrammer, with more than 1.7 million followers as of September 2021.
How can Khoi My help you learn some Vietnamese?
Follow her and learn colloquial Vietnamese with her posts on food, music, and her personal life, or check the wonderful, poetic lyrics of her latest song, Thì ra mình rất cô đơn (Turns out I’m lonely):
Chạm cốc cà phê đắng một chiều chủ nhật
Một mình loay hoay khuấy đều mộng mơ tan vào dòng xoáy
Ngày cứ thế trôi qua
Touching a cup of bitter coffee on a Sunday afternoon
Alone struggling to stir the dream into the vortex
The day goes by
Want to learn more about Vietnamese artists and how their art can help you understand Vietnam’s rich culture?
Try a one-to-one lesson with a native teacher now! Contact us and we’ll be delighted to pair you up with the best Vietnamese tutor so you can start learning online or anywhere in your city.