When people come to think about the 60’s, they usually think about social movement and reforms. Refusing the governmental authorities, Americans went on streets to protest against Vietnam war and the conservative society. Experimental and contemporary art have evolved to become the reflection of this new egalitarianism and social movement. Famed experimental theater director and playwright Peter Brook describes his task as building “… a necessary theater one in which there is only a practical difference between actor and audience, not a fundamental one.” This quotation resonated as an insult in the most conservative ears but also as a revolution. In fact it sounds like a desecration of art, the democratization of art.
Contemporary artistic forms have never stopped reaching out to explore the larger social, political, economic and philosophical realities of everyday life but what distinguishes them from their historical antecedents is that they – collectively – are much more socially and humanly conscious than any previous era has been. Unquestionably, contemporary culture has become not only an important component that forms a society; an effective agent to transmit ideas, values and attitudes from one generation to another; but also a substantial influence on people’s process of moral, human and creativity development.
The lack of creativity threatening the economic development of Vietnam (Vietnam News, 15.02.2013) outline the underdevelopment of the art education system as well as the effective role of nowadays institutions. In fact in Vietnam, the definition of contemporary culture has been greatly been misinterpreted, and its function has long been stripped down to the most simplistic task – to merely entertain. There is a great danger in perceiving cultural and artistic activities in this manner, because when expectations are not met, the public tends to reject, neglect and even dismiss them completely. This in turn destroys the firm relationship between the three central aspects, which are needed to form and maintain a fit mechanism for art and culture development: the creators, the critics and the audiences. Like a three-legged stool, in order to keep its balance, all legs are essential. Without this mechanism, the audience will also lose an opportunity to take the path toward realizing some of the most important values of life that any existing human being should live by. As a result, there is no space for creativity and experimentation to exist; no place for the foundation of contemporary culture to settle; and ultimately no chance for the process of cultural continuity to progress.
There is a real need to develop art education and especially experimental and contemporary art in Vietnam. The accessibility to this kind of art should be easier and visible. Culture is for all and contemporary and experimental art is an essential constructive element of culture that allow people to develop their personality first and their critical thinking leading them developing creativity in thinking out of the box.