Monash is hosting a major exhibition of new paintings, works on paper and sculptural installations by five contemporary Vietnamese artists.
New Figuration in Vietnamese Painting and Sculpture is on display until 10 March at the Faculty Gallery, Caulfield campus.
It features the work of DoHoang Tuong, Nguyen Thanh Son, Nguyen Thai Tuan, Tran Anh Quan and Nguyen Minh Phuong.
The exhibition has been curated by Dr Annette Van den Bosch, lecturer in visual culture within Monash's Faculty of Arts, and Ms Tran Thi Huynh Nga, director of Blue Space Contemporary Arts Centre in Ho Chi Minh City .
Dr Van den Bosch specialises in teaching 20th-century international art and is the only university historian in Australia writing about Vietnamese art history.
The idea for an exhibition was sparked during her time as a visiting lecturer at the University Faculty of Fine Arts in Saigon in 2003.
"This exhibition brings to Australia some of the interesting, critical and challenging works being produced in Vietnam," she said.
"These works are important because they represent some of the complex changes taking place in contemporary understanding of Vietnamese subjectivity and the (human) body.
"Painting and sculpture in Vietnam were under the influence of French Modernism and Soviet Socialist Realism for almost 100 years, while historical influences came from Chinese painting and print-making, and the Vietnamese painter-poet tradition of landscape and figurative genre painting.
"It is particularly important to exhibit new Vietnamese art in Melbourne, which has a large Vietnamese diaspora, because the interchange between the culture of origin and culture of the diaspora is now one of the most interesting subjects in critical theory."