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Vicki Hanh Dang

Vicki Hanh Dang

Meet art director and motion artist from Vietnam and China, Vicki Hanh Dang.

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

My name is Vicki Hanh Dang or Wiiki as my online alias. I am a self-taught 3D art director/ visual/ motion artist based in Vietnam and China. I started doing what I am doing around 5 years ago and I actually had a Bachelor’s degree in Fashion Retailing before I picked up 3D tools.  As a young kid, I did not have any particular hobbies related to art; I can’t draw or make music, I failed at all instruments I wanted to learn or I just did not have enough patience to get into them.  Since I was a younger kid and til now, I find my brain drifted away a lot. The world I see seems utterly incomprehensible sometimes, therefore doing my work allows me to recognise what my subconscious picks up and somehow makes the world make sense.

 

Describe the city you’re living in and what it’s like to live there.

I grew up in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam and currently living between there and Shanghai. Ho Chi Minh will always have my heart because it is exciting, everchanging and thirsty. I think it is a young city with a lot of people who want to thrive and reach further outside. Everyone knows each other, it is not hard to network and connect with people here, but loud noises can be distracting.  Meanwhile, I just moved to Shanghai like a year and a half ago and here, I find the solitude that I need, the big city can make you feel so alone but helps me to focus and grow as a serious artist; new culture gives me a different sense of the world and ways of being.

 

New culture gives me a different sense of the world and ways of being.

What is the best and worst thing about living in your city?

Ho Chi Minh – best thing is the people, the worst thing is the trash recycling system
Shanghai – best thing is the opportunities for work, the worst thing is the limit freedom of information

 

Give us 3 words that describe what it’s like to be a creative in your city.

I will give you 6 words
HCM – community, thirst, exploring
Shanghai – independent, international, busy

 

How did you start your career in art?

My practice came to me when I graduated from university in the UK in 2015 (I was there for 5 years) and I’m grateful to find this part of me. My younger-self always felt a bit lost as I felt something was missing in my life. At that time, I saw a rise in numbers of young artists picking up 3D tools to explore a new way of seeing and visualizing things, it was exciting and intriguing to see the traditional 3D software being used in creativity; this notion expands my horizons and open to new possibilities of imagination.

After that, I went back to Vietnam to get my first job in Advertising, however, such skills were not needed in the industry. I did not stay long but I was grateful for those years as I explored and tried many things until I get to where I am today, working as a freelancer and defining my own path.

 

Were the people around you supportive of your decision on working as a creative?

I was lucky to have met some fellow artists/friends in Ho Chi Minh after I came back to look for work. They were like me, we worked a day job to find the means to support our art career. My family did not understand much, but now they do respect it.

 

What are some goals and ambitions you have for your future work?

Being able to push my skills in new media tools further, managing and write my own projects/exhibitions and expand into the festival/entertainment industry. I don’t want to just be a working bee/tool for someone’s project.

 

I don’t want to just be a working bee/tool for someone’s project.

 

If you could collaborate with any person in the world who would it be?

Hajime SORAYAMA!!!!! and with my fellow friends/artists to make some cool art projects.

 

How would you describe the women around you?

Hard working, persistent, non-egoistical.

Were there any local female creatives that you looked up to when you were growing up?

I did not know not many local female artists where I grew up because the artworld in Vietnam at that time felt like a privilege and seemed to appeal to older generations. I was growing up in a weird phase for Vietnam, we are opened with internet but not opened enough like other countries. I only found myself getting into the artworld when I started using the internet widely in the UK. Internationally, I knew about Yayoi Kusama when I was in university. I respect that she is able to transform her mental illness to her artwork, it’s like having a superpower.
Yoko Ono and Gala Dali as inspiring muses, who have shared the hardship from the public just because they were in love with geniuses. I think their stories run deep; being a dedicated artist makes your brain feel occupied all the time, therefore, making oneself available for someone all the time can be difficult, hence, it is harder to keep lovers/friends. So only people who know and respect you and your work can understand this aspect.

 

Are there any challenging aspects of being a female in your industry?

When I first started, I did have one person who asked me if I was really the one who makes the work. Other than that, I think there is a lack of female 3D designer/ artists in the industry, it is difficult to find one and design mindset of female designers is different than men, which eventually makes the whole industry feel so masculine sometimes.

 

Trust your intuition, if you can do exactly what a male can do, it is great but pushing for your unique touch in your work will make you different from the rest.

Do you have any advice to young women who are aspiring to work in your field?

Trust your intuition, if you can do exactly what a male can do, it is great but pushing for your unique touch in your work will make you different from the rest.

Ask for help from support group/forums when you don’t know something, however, always remember to do your own research first so that you don’t look like a dumbfounded person.

 

 

Photos courtesy of Vicki Hanh Dang.

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