AIS Saigon’s Students Flourish at Annual Art Exhibition

Education - Saigon/HCMC: April 18, 2019

Students at AIS have been Accepted into some of the World’s Best Art Universities

Flaws, Cultural Identity and Drugs - The Inspiration Behind the Collections

The Exhibition's Opening Night at the Australian International School in Saigon’s District 2

The annual art exhibition of the Australian International School in Ho Chi Minh City started with much excitement. The art exhibition by the International Baccalaureate Diploma Visual Arts students is an exhibition of over 100 pieces of studio work that AIS’ Year 13 students have created over a two year period.


AIS Students Accepted into Top Global Art Universities

Many of these bright young talents have already been accepted into some of the world’s best art universities. One of the students, Hyun Jin Seo, has been accepted to study at the University of Arts, London (UAL) Camberwell, and London College of Communication campuses. UAL ranks second in the world for Arts and Design. Other students already have firm offers from Goldsmiths College UAL, London; Lassalle College, Vancouver; University of New South Wales, Australia; OCAD University, Toronto; and Osaka University, Japan. Furthermore, three students have been accepted with scholarships to The Savannah College of Art and Design, Australian International School’s partner Arts University, which has campuses in Hong Kong, Atlanta, Savannah and Lacoste.


This year’s exhibition is a collection of pieces that provide an insight into the personal experiences and struggles the students face. Many of the students’ work has a ‘root’ - whether it be the struggle to understand their own cultural identity, battles with societal pressures or the necessity to adapt and survive in a foreign country at a young age.


The Inspiration Behind the Art Students’ Collections at AIS Saigon

A gifted and artistic student at AIS, William Pham, walks through his pieces and explains that his art collection tells a story. Each piece represents a different aspect of himself, and together they show how he has grown. His piece named ‘The Bunny’ is a toy bunny wrapped in chains. It depicts the stress and anger he felt when he was younger. He would use the bunny as a punching bag and eventually it became the root of his problems, containing all the horrible feelings he experienced. William explains the bunny is caged because sometimes emotions can take too much control of us; they need to be harnessed so they cannot fill us up and spill out. Later in his collection, he has created a beautiful digital print of a butterfly. This piece explores the idea of experiencing freedom by accepting imperfections. The butterfly has asymmetrical wings to portray that we are all different. He explains that it is a gift to be able to see the beauty in flaws - they are unique in all of us.


Hyun Jin Seo states that her pieces revolve around the theme of “confusions in identity as a third culture kid”. They represent her frustrations as she is unable to adapt to Korean traditions and culture due to her long life overseas. Her art collection follows her journey of identity and existence. They express her development in understanding her root is different from other Koreans, as well as the battle to identify where she actually belongs. Her pieces depict her struggle of moving away and wishing to receive love from her parents, her inability to adapt to Korean culture, and how she has tried to avoid reality. Her work ‘Circus Bear’ explores the connection between herself and the aforementioned bear. It represents her experiences of being accused by Korean people of not understanding Korean culture and she compares this to circus bears being mistreated by humans. All her pieces are displayed purposefully to tell a distinctive, personal story.

Another imaginative AIS student, Annie Tran, presents an art collection that is immediately eye-catching with loud, vibrant colours of hot pinks, bright blues, and sunny yellows. However, looking at the pieces more closely, it’s clear to see these colours provide a stark contrast to what the collection is really about - self-harm and drug abuse. Annie explains her work is inspired by a Japanese subculture ‘Yami-Kawaii’, which focuses on turning horrid subjects into beautiful images. Her art collection revolves around “how fun it is to die.” The piece ‘Herion (Heroine) Type-XXX’ is a huge syringe filled with Barbie dolls that resemble humans and depicts the act of humans trying to find temporary happiness before spiraling into self-induced death. Her work entitled ‘Ecstasy’ depicts a young school girl surrounded by dangerous drugs. She explains that the drugs used throughout her art collection are dragging people into a virtual world, hence why ‘Ecstasy’ is created digitally.


The Art Exhibition’s Opening Night at AIS in Saigon’s District 2

The annual art exhibition of the Australian International School in Ho Chi Minh City was a fantastic event. AIS, one of the city’s leading international schools based in Saigon’s District 2, did a wonderful job of hosting the exhibition’s opening night. Many family members, friends, teachers and members of the public turned up to show their support for these talented and expressive art students. It is clear to see that AIS has dedicated teachers and high-end facilities to enable students to receive the support they need so that they can reach their full potential. In addition, the AIS curriculum is well structured and catered towards tending to the students’ developmental needs. The art exhibition is a reminder that school is a place where students begin to learn who they are and where strong bonds and memories are created.


AIS’s fantastic art exhibition will remain on display for the rest of the school year on the 3rd floor of the school’s Thu Thiem campus in Saigon’s District 2.

For more information on the art exhibition and the Australian International School Saigon, contact the school here.

Image source: AIS