Monday, February 28, 2011

What type are you?

Helvetica? Times Roman? Courier? Verdana? Georgia? Trebuchet? Pentagram design has the answer here. Find out from a trained Phrenologist, just exactly what type you are.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Everyone needs an Evil Plan

In the early 2000's Hugh MacLeod was barely eeking out a living as a freelance copywriter in Cumbria, England but one night he had an idea and told his friend about it. "I'm going to write a blog and publish my cartoons on it", he told a friend. "What's a blog?", his friend responded. The rest is, of course, history. In 2009, with the publication of his first book, Ignore Everybody, Hugh became a Wall Street Journal top ten author for a business book that combined earthly creative logic with out of this world cartoons. This year, with his second book, Evil Plans, he tackles the questions of balancing love and work. Fast Company covers that book here with a nifty slide show. Check it out. We hope to have Hugh as a guest of aSaigon/CreativeMorning when he's in Asia next. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Young Vietnam Photo Blog

This week we're happy to present a photo blog in Vietnam with the AIS Saigon Photography blog. AIS is the American International School and, says the blog, "AIS Saigon Photography is a group of students who go out and take photographs of different subjects each week. Photographs you see here are the top selected pieces from our Tuesday wandering outside".  This blog and these shots are young and idealistic - but that's just like the country as a whole and a very good sign. One somewhat disturbing comment on the blog was that, "We don't seem to have Photography Course this term but I want to keep adding more each week." The lack of available courses for all manner of creative studies remains a problem in Vietnam as well as the students inability to choose 'elective' study as opposed to prescribed courses that everyone must attend. Hopefully aSaigon/CreativeMorning and those who participate in our sessions can help raise awareness of the positive importance of the creative arts to all businesses. As Adrian Jones stated at the close of his session last week, "Encouraging creativity is good for business".

Sunday, February 20, 2011

All about Adrian Jones and the 'restricted reading room' at the HCMC library

Sandrine Llouquet and Adrian Jones by Mads Monsen

This is the best photo of Sandrine that I have ever seen. It's all there. The beauty, the intellect, the daughter, the years, the partner, the desire to learn, the diaspora. Let us capture this forever. Because that's what aSaigonCreativeMorning is all about. It's about the ideas, and absorprtion and regurgitation and disparate cultures  and whatever happens after that. Too many coffees and I thought about this. Bad idea, all that coffee. But a better idea is what we all need. Dearly. That's it.

'You had to be there', as they say. And that's the idea. Did anybody know that an entire record of the North/South Vietnamese story, visual and written,  is kept, and not burned, at the Ho Chi Minh City Library? And only accessible to those with a permit. Adrian told stories of what it took to get that permit and what he found while there.

Adrian Jones, with a great love of story telling, is in the business of allowing the Vietnamese people to paint the world in a 20th century  context, having assembled the Witness Collection - the largest private collection of Vietnamese art in the world, because the Vietnamese and maybe only the Vietnamese, are uniquely qualified and skilled enough to do that. Eurpean colonialism, American Imperialism. Internal strife. Independence, Largely self-taught. This is our world history, not revisionist or propagandised. Balanced things.

Thank you Adrian. You had to be there and we thank you. And for those who weren't, you lost something.

Next month, a bit of great history and art, from the Museum of Modern Art in New York. And the Vietnamese artist who made it happen. Let's join together. But, you have to be there.

Thank you too Sandrine.

Full photos of the event are available on our Facebook group page.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Sponsors welcome to aSaigon/CreativeMorning

In response to the many requests we've had to open aSaigon/CreativeMorning to other agencies and industry sponsors we are doing exactly that. DDB, Lowe and BBDO have all expressed interest but we haven't booked yet, and it's not like just one agency can sponsor. TBWA remains our beloved benefactor for getting us off the ground (George gets huge props here). But now we're doing what we set out to do. We more like the idea of brotherhood and togetherness so if two coffee sponsors want to take a go at it and run a taste-off, we're game! Malongo is ready! But none of you guys get to show your company reels, bad PowerPoints or other silly promo stuff. Restaurants? Come cook against the Tin Foil Grill! They've got some game you know.

Sponsorship opportunities are now available for location, coffee, breakfast and other ideas to your liking. Sponsorships go from Gold to Bronze but trust me, nobody's going to want Bronze cause you look like 'Cheap Charlie' around here.

TBWA was smart enough to execute the following press release and we think this sort of press has value to many companies. aSaigon/CreativeMorning remains a non-profit enterprise and all proceeds go towards maintaining the event and printing the cool t-shirts we're making for those in the groove.

Please contact us for sponsorship ideas. We maintain a very select avenue to Saigon's top creative thought leaders and are not interested in numbers at all. Ideas rule and if you're in that business we hope we can work together and get a few better ones.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

A little more about Adrian Jones - Engineering Student, Author, Video Game Developer, Software Entrepreneur, Sports Media Creator, Art Curator

Adrian Jones
Adrian Jones began his career in the UK in the early 1980s when he established a video games development company, working at the meeting point of art and technology.  He published his first book on the design and development of video games in 1983. After studying engineering at Cambridge University, Adrian came initially to Vietnam in 1986-87 to write a book and make a film.  During that period, he first encountered Vietnamese artists and started to collect their works, beginning a life-long passion for the region's arts.

Picasso, Nu
The collection, known as Witness Collection, today consists of nearly 2,000 works, regularly on loan at museums around the world and is accessible to researchers and scholars.

Pham Huy Thong, Buffalo Boy
As an entrepreneur, Adrian's work has been in the fields of media and telecommunications.  He was founder of the company behind WinMail, which became one of the three leading worldwide email products in the early 90s.  WinMail was adopted worldwide by IBM and won many industry awards for its effective use of graphical imagery (GUI) to improve interface ease-of-use.

From 1999-2002, Adrian was Executive Chairman of SportBusiness Group, based in London, New York and Munich, which he developed into the leading supplier of commercial information to the sports industry.  The company produced numerous specialist publications - both print and online - as well as international conferences, working closely with broadcasters, teams, sponsors and media agencies in more than 60 countries, as well as international sports organizations such as the IOC, FIFA, Formula 1 and UEFA Champions' League.

Adrian established Asiarta Foundation in 2009 to support projects in Asian art conservation, research and media.  At present, he is preparing to produce a documentary series for international broadcasters, which will look at the changing phases of the 20th century through the eyes of Vietnamese artists. Adrian also serves as a Director or Advisor to several private commercial companies and is Official Advisor to The National Gallery of Art, Singapore for their Vietnam collection.

Adrian will speak on 'What Makes Art Valuable?'  What is art?  And therefore what are we valuing? What inherent value does art have?  What broader value does art have to our community, society or country? Why do art pieces sometimes sell for such enormous sums? What underpins the commercial value of art?  And what changes it? What economic and social value does art have in Vietnam? What value does art have to our businesses? Why should we care about supporting the arts?

Saturday, February 5, 2011

aSaigon/CreativeMorning welcomes Witness Collection curator Adrian Jones - Friday, 18 Feb, 8:30am

'Goi Dao' - 1943 -
Tran Van Can (1910 -1994)

Adrian Jones, 44, is the founder of the Witness Collection, Director of Asiarta Foundation, and Advisor for the Vietnam collection to The National Art Gallery, Singapore. With more than 1000 pieces to date, Jones’ purpose in building the Witness Collection has been to “tell a story, the story of Vietnam’s people and society during the past century. Due to Vietnam being a microcosm for the world’s major social and political changes during that time, I [Jones] believe Vietnamese art tells the story of ‘our century’ in a way that art from no other country can."

Beyond works of art, Jones’ team has also traveled around Vietnam collecting old tubes of oil paint, unused canvases and old paper—in fact, pretty much any art material they can find that has been produced since the 1940s. They have also been interviewing elderly artists to gain a better understanding of their techniques. Jones also finds himself in a unique position helping define the value and merit of art in a nation with few domestic collectors of contemporary art.

“I’ve come to realise that, often unwittingly, we regularly take on a set of social responsibilities when collecting unique and original art – sometimes including responsibilities to a much larger community. Most artists create their works to be seen, so firstly we have at least some duty to the artist to share their works with other viewers, whether friends and family or wider afield.”, says Jones.

We're pleased to welcome Adrian and hope the morning will provide both visual and intellectual stimulation. The Witness Collection can be found here.

Register for the event here:

Sponsors: Coffee - Malongo, Breakfast - Tin Foil Grill. Space - TBWA