4 Worth Checking Out Art & Culture Hubs in Hanoi18 May 2018
Scouting the streets of the Old Quarter, hunting down the best Pho in town, and hitting the clubs by night might be exciting when you first set foot in Hanoi. However, for some people, the novelty of discovering a new city wears down overtime, and they start wanting something more substantial. Turns out there’s more to the capital than meets the eye, as Hanoi is also known to be a cultural and artistic center of the country. Below are some of the most popular art and culture spaces where locals as well as expats regularly visit.
Located in the heart of the capital, a few steps away from the Hanoi Opera House, L’Espace is perhaps more known for being a dedicated space for art and culture in Hanoi than a French teaching center.
Entering the main entrance, you can immediately see the exhibition hall, which is designed to honor contemporary art. Every month, at least one exhibit and some concerts or art performances take place within L’Espace. L’Espace is also a preferred destination for many high profile independent musicians to perform and have concerts in.
Adjacent to the exhibition hall is a little coffee shop, where you can spend your time people-watching and feel the rhythm of the living city, or simply enjoy some rare peace and quiet in the center of a busy city.
Located inside Goethe Institut Hanoi is DocLab, a center for documentary and experimental films and video art. DocLab was created in 2009 to help cultivate a new generation of Vietnamese independent filmmakers and media artists, while creating and developing the presence of a independent film community in the local audience.
The center has a library of classical and contemporary documentaries, experimental films and video art, books on film theory and criticism, filmmaking and history of video art. DocLab hosts regular weekday afternoon screenings of both experimental films and video art series, and bi-monthly screenings of feature documentary and independent filmsi. Doclab members and guests occasionally hold informal afternoon seminars on areas of personal cinematic interests and research.
Not as established as L’Espace, but Manzi is quickly becoming Hanoi’s hottest independent art space. Housed in an elegant 20th century French villa, Manzi is a coffee shop and bar in a gallery. Walking into the building, you can’t help but admire the clean, minimalistic interior design, giving attention to the various paintings and art installations of emerging and established independent artists laid out across the room. The second floor is exclusively a gallery, where exhibitions are often held, and visitors can purchase affordable copies or pieces of art which strike their fancy. Manzi also hosts various small evening concerts of small, independent Hanoi musicians.
4. Heritage Space
Located at Dolphin Plaza, Heritage Space is a space for creativity, enjoyment and aims at new values in Arts & Cultural scene in Vietnam. Heritage Space is run by a group of artists, curators and researcher, those who wish to support, promote and develop the new factors in the creative industries in Vietnam.
Heritage Space is always bursting with recurring and new activities. Beyond Sound is their biweekly experimental music night, featuring local and international musicians. They also organize Entertainment music nights, which are small Indie Rock, Jazz, Vocal etc. concerts aim at the popular audience if you’re seeking something easier to digest.
Heritage Space also regularly hosts exhibitions of local and international artists, as well as various talk shows of prominent speakers regarding heated societal issues.