wednesday, october 26th 2016. 19.30 at Cà phê Thứ Bảy, 19b phạm ngọc thạch, district 3

an evening of talks and presentations on various facets of saigon’s street-life, with participants from a multitude of backgrounds (architecture, urban planning, photography, typography, etc.).

images © Steffi W. Neukirchen


‘there all is order, naught amiss:
comfort and beauty, calm and bliss.

Charles Baudelaire’s verses could adequately represent what most saigonese want their city to become in a near future. a clean and ordered metropole, where the notions of beauty and modernity are entangled – if not synonyms – and above all reflect a « civilised » society.

this is presumably the path ho chi minh city is following, as the cityscape mutates into that of a global city, jointly supported by government officials and real estate developers. but the changing heights of the city are not the only consequences of the beautification process occurring; at the street level, in every district, we can observe a growing homogenization of our visual environment.

the spread of franchised brands brings along both a reduction and a standardisation of the diversity of commercial signages. meanwhile, citizens are dispossessed of their walls with the privatisation of public spaces.

but are clean walls, standard typos really a sign of civilized society? do those street signs have to be contradictory with the ‘clean’ and modern notion of beauty? what are the stakes of having a varied, vibrant and not-so-neat urban environment?

back in april, an ordinary city approached the saigon’s ‘hẻm’ in more general terms, for its central role in citizens’ daily lives as a support for social and economic interactions.

as part of the Out of Frame festival, an ordinary city proposes you a new talk with a panel of researchers, designers, architects around the aesthetics of walls and frontages and the visual identity of ho chi minh city.


*Steffi W. Neukirchen, graphist, will talk about Saigon’s visual identity and her work on documenting it

*Le Quoc Huy, will introduce us to Lưu Chữ – The Lost Type Vietnam

*Graffiti Artist Liar Ben will present his ongoing project #FriendShipInTheAir

**OOF! is funded by Zero Station under the Asian IN/Visible Station project (Asian IN/Visible Station is co-managed by Zero Station and Japan Foundation’s Asia Center, and curated by Zero Station).