South/East Asia: Vietnam + Hong Kong in the Age of Globalization

Tribute with wrecked plane in Asia

January 3—15, 2020  
*Note: Dates subject to change

ITINERARY UPDATE: Due to safety concerns resulting from recent and ongoing events in Hong Kong, the study trip will travel only to Vietnam and will end in Ho Chi Minh City on January 15, 2020.

In Vietnam, the Ho Chi Minh City Art Museum offers an art world landscape of vast contradictions, pairing neoclassical architecture with cold war cannons and a concrete bunker.  This instance supplies a mere hint of the possibilities that await practitioners and scholars of global-contemporary art traveling to 21st century Asia. 

Beginning in Hanoi, Vietnam, the first 12 days of this study trip will take students through art spaces that are both historically significant as well as reflective of the cutting-edge art scenes in Southeast Asia. Our itinerary will take us through the cities of Hue, Hoi An, and Ho Chi Minh City, including visits to DocLab, the Palace Museum, Salon Saigon, and studio visits with renowned figures such as Nguyen Trinh Thi, Bui Cong Khanh, The Propeller Group and Phan Thi Thao Nguyen. After a day-trip to the Mekong Delta, we will end the trip in Ho Chi Minh City on January 15.

Both Vietnam and Hong Kong have experienced unprecedented cultural and economic growth in recent decades and this trip will provide an opportunity to learn about this "new Asia" first hand. While artists from the region have gained international attention in exhibitions and the biennale  circuit, its art history is still understudied. This trip will offer students a thorough overview of the region from an art historical perspective from two seasoned Asia scholars.

Nora Taylor wrote her doctoral dissertation on Vietnamese painting, lived in Vietnam for a total of five years, speaks Vietnamese and has traveled there yearly since 1992. Jennifer Lee is a specialist on Post-Mao China, speaks Mandarin and has lived and traveled extensively in China and Hong Kong. While her first book project is dedicated to the revolutionary eras in contemporary Beijing, Lee's second project will move beyond China to address activist histories in Hong Kong.

Students will be meeting artists, be immersed in the Vietnamese art world and exploring museums and cultural spaces in the flesh. The course will take a hands-on approach to art history through note taking, direct observation, sketching, photographing and filming.

Credits: 3 credits ARTHI (4000-level) 

Nora Taylor, Art History, Theory, & Criticism
Jennifer Lee, Art History, Theory, & Criticism

Program fee: Approx. $1,500 (including transport during the program, accommodation and some meals; not including airfare).

PLUS Tuition cost per credit:
Undergraduate—$1,666 per credit hour;
Graduate—$1,730 per credit hour.

Airfare: Budget at least $1250 for airfare if flying from Chicago. (Note this is only an estimated figure. Actual fare will depend on many variables including airline, number of stopovers, exchange rate fluctuations, ports of departure and return, and date of ticket purchase).

Application process:
Instructor consent required. Submit application (PDF) [attach PDF] to faculty for pre-approval to register


Online registration begins: October 9, 2019

Deposit due at registration: $525

Information sessions:
Tuesday, September 10,  4:15-5:15 p.m., MacLean room 112
Thursday, September 26,  12:10-12:50 p.m., MacLean room 112