Saigon’s art scene has rapidly evolved from a commercial art hub to an eclectic community of talented and unique contemporary artists. Galleries are crucial to promoting local artists and are often responsible for organizing events outside of classic exhibits to bring the artistic community together. Here are the best art galleries in Saigon to catch a glimpse of the incredible talent within this dynamic city.
Bar, Market, Restaurant, American, Vietnamese
Saigon Outcast describes itself as a ‘creative space, magical craft beer garden and graffiti paradise’. This events venue hosts everything from rock climbing and movie evenings to life-drawing classes and acoustic nights. One of the most striking things about Saigon Outcast, though, is the graffiti covering many of the surfaces. This place has some of the most impressive wall art in the city.
Art Gallery, Art Museum
This gallery, located in the heart of District 1, makes clever use of its long, narrow interior by placing art work on sliding panels to reveal several paintings underneath. The gallery owners are friendly and informative and will gladly provide details of each piece, as well as a brief history of several artists hailing from all over the country. This private gallery has operated since the ’90s and also features a range of works from portrait style canvas paintings to contemporary pieces.
Ho Chi Minh City Museum of Fine Arts
This is the top-rated art museum within the city. Here, you can catch a glimpse of what the local art scene looks like and what local artists are creating. This dauntingly huge complex features an appealing mix of French and Chinese architectural styles, as it was owned by a Chinese-born businessman who was one of the city’s richest men at the time it was constructed.
Craig Thomas Gallery
This is one of the older galleries in the city, but it still offers plenty of contemporary artwork. American lawyer Craig Thomas worked in Saigon for many years before he followed his true passion as a collector. Established in 2009, this gallery features many emerging new artists, along with well-known names. A number of exhibitions are held throughout the year and pieces are often created by Vietnamese locals. Like most great artwork, many paintings found here contain important messages behind the brushstrokes.
This elegant, stylish gallery located in District 1 houses impressive works from both well-known local artists and newcomers. Originating in Hanoi, this gallery occupies five storeys and features large canvas paintings displayed as though they were in a big-budget museum. Keep your eyes peeled for some lesser known contemporary works by up-and-coming local talent.
Duc Minh Gallery
Art Gallery, Art Museum
This expansive private art collection is one of the best in the country. Duc Minh was one of Vietnam’s most important art collectors, saving pieces from potential destruction during the Vietnam war. His son, Bui Quoc Chi, has continued the family legacy by preserving the vast amount of pieces that range from from 1920–1990. The current collection has expanded to feature more contemporary works and occasionally, Quoc Chi offers guided tours. If you do find a tour date, grab it; tickets are a little pricey, but they sell out fast.