- Kerry Newsome
The Past Peddling The Future
A tale of one woman who saw a future for Vietnam through the spirit of art.
This is a story about Suzanne Lecht who I interviewed a couple of months ago, but I actually got to spend some time with her during my recent visit. Just this September 2022. Time I can honestly say was well spent and left an imprint on me in such a profound way that I wanted to tell more of her story here. The actual show we recorded you can listen to HERE.
THIS story of Suzanne's life begins when one door sadly closes. As was the case for Suzanne. when Suzanne's husband unexpectedly passed away in 1992, while they were in Tokyo. She told me she was sad and lost for a long while, but she knew she had major decisions to make. Basically she had to figure out what to do with her life.
If you keep reading you are going to find out how Suzanne turned tragedy into an amazing career and life in Vietnam.
She made the brave decision to stay in Tokyo for another year while exploring potential new places to call home. As fate would have it, when Suzannes visa was about to expire a friend brought her an article entitled: Art’s “Gang of Five”: the ones to watch hold a third joint exhibition of art from the heart.
The article ignited a fire within Suzanne and a brand new dream, one which inspired her to be the bridge between two countries through the spirit of art. She took the very brave step of moving to Hanoi to bring that dream to life, and she really did it! In my interview with Suzanne she explained to me, “I felt a connection. I felt a really strong connection to this country (Vietnam) that was a little bit intimidating, and intriguing, and exotic, and strange and wonderful.”
That spirit and connection continues to resonate today in her own studio and home, the Salon. I had the pleasure to visit that space myself on my trip to Vietnam last month, and let me tell you first hand, it does not disappoint! The Salon is an intimate, bright reflection of the culture of Vietnam.
Her space is open by appointment only, but also offers art consultations, music events, poetry readings, and private parties. Suzanne also continues to expose the world to contemporary Vietnamese artists because she truly believes in “the past peddling the future.” And how Contemporary Art is showing completely new sides of Vietnam to the world.
Visitors to this artistic space will find that the evolution of Art Vietnam mirrors the awe-inspiring pace of change of Vietnam itself, more specifically Vietnamese art.
This is a country steeped in tradition which stands poised on the leading edge of the international art world, and Suzanne Lecht is front and center.
Suzanne Lecht is recognized as a leading authority on contemporary art in Vietnam. From personal experience, I can tell you that she is authentic and a walking talking symbol of what she preaches. She believes in having big dreams and going for them if it feels right in your heart. Suzanne is the real deal and a sheer delight to meet. I could have spent hours with her talking about life, the world, and the universe.
She encourages everyone to visit Vietnam, from her personal experience of traveling the world she’s
found the Vietnamese to be the most open, generous, loving people. Suzanne views Vietnam as a peaceful country of endless fascinations.
If you’re an art lover and want to invest in Vietnamese art, she suggests now is the time. I couldn’t agree more!
Even if you are not an art lover take the time to visit some of the amazing galleries in Vietnam. Bridget March in a show we did together earlier this year offered up her favourites HERE.
You can also buy online from Suzanne's The Art Vietnam Gallery HERE
For more on art in Vietnam have a listen or a read to these interesting pieces:
Contemporary Art - A Window To The Future With Suzanne Lecht
Art In Vietnam With Bridget March
Art In Vietnam - As A Traveler What You Need To Know
Trip Planning Vietnam - Insights For New Travelers
NOTE - Some of the mazing dresses worn by Suzanne Lecht in these photos were designed by Diego from CHULA.