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40 Under 40 Asia Pacific 2022

Thien-Bao Le

22 September 2022

Founder, Symbioses, Ho Chi Minh City

After gaining three years’ curatorial experience at the Factory Contemporary Arts Centre, one of Ho Chi Minh City’s most lively independent spaces, Thien-Bao Le founded Symbioses – a project connecting artists with local businesses to secure resources for artists working in Vietnam, and in the process bringing art into unexpected spaces. The project’s most high-profile projects to date have been two editions of No Cai Bum – founded in 2020, this annual art week, which is curated by artists, promotes contemporary art beyond Vietnam’s traditional centres of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, with each edition based in a different city. The inaugural edition in 2020 took place in Hue as a collaboration between Symbioses, Nest Studio and the local artist collective Mo Do; after a year’s pandemic-induced hiatus, a successful second edition took place in Da Lat in April this year. Le represented Vietnam for two years on the board of advisors for Mekong Cultural Hub, a pan-South East Asian non-profit organisation. In 2017, she co-founded the ‘Spirit of Friendship’ archive with Zoe Butt and Bill Nguyen, documenting art collectives in Vietnam from 1975 to the present.

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