Open edit: AAA mobile library

Opening: 24.02.2011 @6:pm
Exhibition on view until 09.04.2011
Location: Sàn Art
3 Me Linh
Binh Thanh District
Ho Chi Minh City

Open Edit brings a selection of material from the Asia Art Archive’s collection to different cities in Asia, inviting people to read and interact with it in unconventional ways. The Asia Art Archive (AAA) is a nonprofit organisation dedicated to documenting the recent history of contemporary art in Asia within an international context.

Approximately 180 items — including monographs, exhibition catalogues, reference books, and magazines, most of which relate conceptually to mobility, travelling, exchange, interaction, participation, and communication — form the Mobile Library collection. In addition to reading the books, the public is encouraged to ‘edit’ them by writing, drawing, highlighting, adhering notes and pictures, and even tearing pages out of them. Through these actions, people are reinterpreting the material, as well as engaging in a dialogue amongst themselves. The material, as the platform for communication, will eventually become a document of the Open Edit process.

Open Edit creates an experimental sphere for public participation in the discourse of contemporary art in Asia. Its process of inclusion challenges the canon established by the traditional intent of the archive—material conservation—and invites multiple new perspectives and meanings.

The first stage of the Open Edit tour—a collaborative effort of AAA, Sàn Art, and Hong Kong artist Jaffa Lam—will be on view at Sàn Art between 24 February and 9 April 2011.


Open Edit is the first archive project of its kind to come to Vietnam. These books showcase some of the region’s most dynamic artistic talent today, revealing the vibrancy of established and emerging practitioners working in painting, installation, printmaking, performance, drawing, sculpture, video and much more. To broaden engagement with the material in Open Edit: Mobile Library beyond the audiences visiting our premises, Sàn Art has worked with local artists and educational organisations to create a series of programmes. We hope that in displaying the results of these programmes, Sàn Art will encourage general visitors to contribute to the ‘editing’ of the books in the collection. This project is a fantastic opportunity for the local artistic community to be inspired by the history of contemporary art, which is rarely found in libraries in Vietnam. Sàn Art is honored to be the host institution and co-organizer of this pilot project and we look forward to our contribution being seen in other cities across Asia.