About the exhibition

Located in Southeast Asia, a cradle of humanity, Vietnam has a long-standing agricultural history that is closely linked to the physical, spiritual and cultural life of its people.

Within the agricultural sector in Vietnam, livestock plays an important role. Livestock accounts for 30% of agricultural Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and the agriculture sector itself accounts for 15% of national GDP. Livestock production is critical to the livelihoods of smallholders, contributing to farm income, creating employment, reducing poverty, improving diets and helping to bridge the gender gap. Livestock production has always been an intimate part of the Vietnamese people, entering poetry and art with folk songs, proverbs and folk paintings passed down through generations.

The project Livestock-led Interventions towards Equitable Livelihoods and Improved Environment in the Northwest Highlands of Vietnam, known as Li-chăn (meaning beautiful in local Thai dialect), is organizing a virtual exhibition. The exhibition aims to raise public awareness on the role of livestock in improving people's livelihoods as well as support the country's smallholder livestock producers in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. The exhibition, Livestock Development in Vietnam from Artists’ and Farmers’ Perspectives, is developed in collaboration with the Vietnam Fine Arts Museum, one of the leading national agencies in arts and cultural research, under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism. 

The exhibition exhibits a range of unique artwork on agriculture and livestock painted by Vietnamese artists between 1900 and 2000 and currently stored at the museum. A physical exhibition is planned for the end of 2021 in Son La Province, promoting this artwork to the public in the region where the project is being implemented (contingent upon the COVID-19 situation in the province).

The virtual exhibition consists of three parts. The first, Livestock Development from the Artist’s Perspective, exhibits unique artwork on agriculture and livestock, diverse in both materials and themes, that is currently kept and displayed at the Vietnam Fine Arts Museum. (to be launched mid October)

In the second part, photographs and stories by Li-chăn farmers from Mai Son District, Son La Province reflect Livestock Development from the Farmer’s Perspective. Using the ‘photovoice’ method, farmers give their own view on the role of livestock in their lives and on the importance of selecting breeds, taking care of livestock health, growing forage, preparing feeds, composting livestock waste to improve the environment, and Ban pig branding. (to be launched mid October)

The third part exhibits the winning artwork on Livestock Development from the Public Perspective in a competition launched in September 2021.

We hope that the artwork will touch the hearts of the public, those who love beauty and culture and are interested the lives of the Vietnamese people, and help to improve knowledge around domestic livestock production in Vietnam. 

About the organizers

Located at 66 Nguyen Thai Hoc Street, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi, Vietnam, the Vietnam Fine Arts Museum is one of the leading national museums to preserve and promote the cultural and artistic heritage of Vietnam. The museum owns a huge collection of fine art with more than 20,000 objects of all types and materials, from lacquer, oils and silks to paper paintings and stone and bronze sculptures. Together these illustrate the development of Vietnamese fine art from prehistory to the present day. The museum's regular display exhibits more than 2,000 artifacts including nine national treasures, which are open to the public. 

Li-chăn is a project under the CGIAR Research Program on Livestock that aims to provide research-based solutions to transition smallholder farmers to sustainable and resilient livelihoods and to more productive small-scale enterprises that will help feed future generations. Vietnam is one of four priority countries selected to consolidate and translate research from different disciplines into a pilot study. The project runs from 2019 until the end of 2021 in Mai Son District, Son La Province. Li-chăn has been co-designed by both international and national partners. In Vietnam, the project is coordinated by the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT, and the International Livestock Research Institute.