"Southern Vietnamese Modernist Architecture" features beautiful architectural photography that illustrates the outstanding accomplishment of the people of southern Vietnam in developing a mid-century modernist architecture that is extraordinary in the world. Especially for Americans, Vietnam has been a war instead of a country. The world didn’t notice that the Vietnamese were simultaneously constructing modern apartment buildings, houses, large public buildings, and public housing as they developed a new nation. And the world didn’t anticipate that this architecture would be so overtly modernist rather than an adaption of traditional Vietnamese designs to the continuation of colonial architecture. In the mid-twentieth century, southern Vietnamese architects developed a version of modernist architecture that accommodated the tropical climate and reflected the identity of a newly-independent culture. It demonstrates the innate sense of design of Vietnamese and it represented the outlook of the people of southern Vietnam as they looked towards the future, even in the face of war. The vast quantity and quality of Vietnamese modernist buildings constructed throughout southern Vietnam made Vietnam an unrecognized center of modernism in the world. Most importantly, the southern Vietnamese as a culture embraced modernism, and it became the vernacular architecture of the culture for dwellings. This architecture features an interplay between masses and voids that provides a much more vibrant version of modernist architecture. This style fills the gaps between the functionalism of the International Style and the quest for identity and spirit that has been lacking in modernism worldwide. American architect Mel Schenck is a long-term immigrant to Vietnam and has been studying this architecture since he was surprised by the extent and quality of modernist architecture in Saigon when he first lived there in 1971/72. He and photographer Alexandre Garel accumulated a database of 400 buildings and 4,000 photographs in southern Vietnam to serve a comprehensive analysis of the history and characteristics of this distinctive architecture. Architectural historians, aficionados of modernist architecture, and anyone interested in Vietnamese culture will find that this book is a positive story about Vietnamese aspirations for independence and the value of modernist architecture in living in the world today.
"Poetic Significance" presents beautiful architectural photography, diagrams, and the history of the very rich and complex Vietnamese modernist architecture from the mid-century in Saigon, Vietnam. Vietnamese mid-twentieth-century modernist architecture made its way into the Vietnamese vernacular culture to be recreated and transformed by the ordinary people. Through their creations, this book tries to discern the modern architectural aesthetics of the Vietnamese people which reflects how the architecture of Vietnam, an ancient Southeast Asian culture, has appeared and developed in modern times. When asked about Vietnamese architectural identity, most people would associate Vietnamese identity with the period before the French colonisation, comprising the traditional architecture of wooden communal houses or imperial palaces. That is widely accepted. But less known, yet more significant, is that this very same identity of Vietnamese authenticity has made its way into modern times, surviving colonialism to thrive again in a new material reality. Vietnamese modernist architecture appeared in Saigon, the capital of South Vietnam during the Second Indochina War. It was a branch of modernism with a rich architectural vocabulary of various micro-climatic strategies. As a result, this architecture appears lighter, airier, more graceful and less monumental in comparison to global modernism. Unexpectedly, the ordinary Vietnamese people took this language and practiced it on their own in making their modernist shophouses. This created a modernist architecture without acknowledging it, and modernism then became a means, catalysed and enriched by the collectivity of the Vietnamese culture. It became a new tradition of building houses. And primary in this tradition is a distinctively vibrant and poetic taste. In response to the rationality of global modernism, the Vietnamese people realised a new branch of modernism that is intensively dense, yet vibrant, rich, abstract and thoroughly poetic. It demonstrated a focus on the feelings and the spirituality that architecture can have. This very special sensitivity of the Vietnamese people contrasted with global modernism. And this contrast is, in fact, the modern identity of Vietnamese architecture, rooted directly from Vietnamese traditional aesthetics. It deserves, therefore, a formal recognition and appreciation, especially domestically as globalisation raises questions of self-consciousness, authenticity and identity in Vietnam's society. Those who study, practice architecture or who are interested in design, art, history and culture will find that this book shows how modernism came to be in Vietnam and how it has been adopted by the people directly as their new vernacular architecture. Through simple yet frequently-used architectural elements like louvers, planters, pergolas, handrails, brise-soleil, columns, beams, etcetera, the Vietnamese people have crafted artworks of an authentic taste and a strong identity. Readers will find this work helpful as a handbook that exposes a bright, but hidden example for the world of how architecture, art and culture co-exist in southern Vietnam, and how rationality and spirituality are intertwined into human creations.
With more than 500 contributions from over 240 specialists, this volume provides lively and clearly written expositions of those figures who have done most to shape our views in the period since 1914. Music, cinema, drama, art, fiction, poetry, philosophy, sociology and anthropology are just some of the fields covered in this indispensable volume. Figures covered include: Malinowski, Kafka, George Orwell, Lenin, Gaudi, Gramsci, Freud, Malcolm X, Henry Miller, Miles Davis, James Joyce, Ravel, Veblen and Edward Sapir.
"Intended for students and non-specialists, this six-volume set does an outstanding job of covering all aspects of modern Asia (economics, religion, technology, politics, education, the arts, environmental issues, international relations, and scientific advances). Recognizing that there is not one Asian culture but many, the editors have been careful to stress both the interrelatedness and the tremendous variance of traditions. The set is equally useful for those researching common themes across Asian culture and those examining a particular country. Well illustrated and carefully indexed, the set is highly recommended for all public and academic libraries."--"The Best of the Best Reference Sources," American Libraries, May 2003.
Summarizes current events and lists facts, statistics, prizewinners, and other newsmaking developments in the sciences, history, the countries of the world, the United States, the economy, the arts, and sports.
Continuing the project begun in The Poetics of Postmodernism, Linda Hutcheon focuses on the politics of representation. Looking at both mass media and high art forms, she challenges the seeming transparency and apparent apolitical innocence of our visual images and verbal stories, asserting that these construct rather than reflect or express our experience of the world.
Convened at a time of great upheaval around the world, at the height of the Cold War, armed conflict in Vietnam, and a period of nationalist and anti-colonialist struggles, the Bandung Asian-African Conference of 1955 was an unprecedented and unrepeated moment of unity of purpose among the 29 independent Asian and African nations represented there, and for some years a beacon of hope for the two goals of nonalignment and Afro-Asian solidarity. It is widely considered the inspiration that led to the eventual founding of the Non-Aligned Movement. This timely book, published at the 50th annniversary of the conference, charts the historical background that led to it, recounts the heady mix of events of the one week at Bandung - its spirit of unity as well as its near derailments - analyses its impacts and aftermath, and above all provides an insight into the political landscape of the world before, during and after this landmark event. Supplementing the text is a rich array of illustrations, historical photographs and maps, highlighting the people, places and issues involved. Book jacket.