CAM RANH, Vietnam – Seven months after The Anam opened as Vietnam’s most ambitious new coastal resort, the 213-room property is shepherding guests into the galleries and homes of talented local artists and unveiling an artist-in-residence program.
The resort’s commitment to the arts is obvious all over its grounds, where an eclectic collection of hundreds of artworks by local artists hang from its walls and bedeck its pedestals.
“Our part of Vietnam is famous for its beaches, its islands, its Cham towers and its seafood,” said The Anam’s general manager Herbert Laubichler-Pichler. “It should be famous for its art, and we hope to help make that happen.”
Driven by his interest to get to know the local artists personally, Laubichler-Pichler enlisted Nguyễn Hồng Vân, who opened Nha Trang’s first art gallery called The Rainbow Gallery, to create the Nha Trang Art Tour, providing the ultimate “insider” knowledge about the destination.
As part of this intimate seven-hour tour, Hồng Vân and Laubichler-Pichler welcome art lovers into the homes and galleries of acclaimed local artists otherwise inaccessible to tourists, providing a new perspective of Vietnam and its people through their art ranging from oil paintings and metalwork to sculpture and photography. The tour wraps up with dinner at a local Vietnamese restaurant renowned for its seafood.
The life story of one the tour’s artists, Mai Lộc, epitomises Vietnam's rapid transformation. Once living under the poorest conditions as a miner, he met a Norwegian couple by chance in 1995. They kept in touch and for his wedding, the couple gave him a camera, completely changing his life.
Today Mai Lộc is a sought-after photographer who has exhibited his striking black-and-white and color images of Vietnam's landscape and its people in Canada, Finland, Austria and other parts of the world.
Painter Bùi Văn Quang, a member of the Vietnam Fine Arts Association, is also on the tour, showcasing authentic paintings depicting situations from the daily lives of Vietnamese through use of the country’s rich colors.
Other artists involved include painters Trần Thị Bảo Trân and her husband Lưu Thành Quả, Nguyễn Hữu Bài, Ngô Đăng Hiệp and Lê Huỳnh, metalwork artist Bùi Trung Chính and sculptor Đoàn Xuân Hùng.
From December 26-29 this year, the resort will stage its inaugural ‘Garden and Sun Artist in Residence’. Artists will create works and chat with guests amid the resort’s lush gardens before the resulting artworks are displayed on December 29 between 5pm-7pm at Au Lac Ballroom with complimentary drinks and canapes.
The Nha Trang Art Tour is offered daily from 1.30pm from The Anam and includes transfers, visits to the studios and homes with a guide and the ensuing dinner. It is priced from USD 77 USD per person in a group of six. More information at: www.theanam.com.