Tran Luong was the Goethe-Institut’s closest adviser and guide in the visual arts for more than a decade. This mutual friendship goes back to the early days at Hang Duong Street and took off when Franz Xaver Augustin became director. Thanks to Tran Luong‘s willingness to build bridges across language barriers, the Goethe-Institut found an entry to the artists‘ scene at that time, to the Gang of Five and to Nha San Duc in particular. The friendly relations to Tran Luong continued until today. For the Goethe-Institut he was a curator of cutting-edge exhibitions and a successful regional arts cooperation within the Goethe-Institut network of South East Asia. The Goethe-Institut Hanoi itself never came as close to the local artists than at the early 2000’s.
In 2000 Tran Luong participated in the group exhibition LEBEN IN DER ALTSTADT VON HANOI. The first exhibition he curated was GREEN RED & YELLOW (2003) when the institute moved to its current location at 56-58 Nguyen Thai Hoc. From then until 2013, he participated in many talks, seminars, workshops, exhibitions, and projects.
Tran Luong helped to accomplish the aim of the Goethe-Institut, to be space for experiment and free discourse, a platform for exchange and development to local artists and in connection with foreign guests from Germany or other countries. For the Goethe-Institut Hanoi Tran Luong curated LIM DIM international performance art festival (2004), COCOON installation by Nguyen Xuan Hoang (2005), WELCOME TO OUR WORLD photovoice exhibition and childfund-raising (2006), PHAP PHONG the Chaap Collective (2011), and within the wider South East Asian context, he contributed the German – Vietnamese part to artconneXions (2004-2006) and the Vietnamese part to Riverscapes IN FLUX (2012-2013).
The Goethe-Institut felt save with Tran Luong’s advice. He brought international experience from his solo shows in Tokyo (1997), New York (1999, 2000, 2003), Beijing (2007) and from group exhibitions in Japan (2002), Singapore (2006, 2008, 2011, 2012, 2013), Indonesia (2008), Macau (2008), PR China (Chengdu 2008, Shanghai 2008, Guangzhou 2010) which was beneficial for his curatorial work. In 2009 Tran Luong renewed LIM DIM; an exhibition featuring 16 contemporary artists from Vietnam, for the Stenersen Museum, Oslo, in 2013 he took LAP LOE to Berlin.
„Working with the Goethe-Institut has allowed me to learn, create and share knowledge. Unlike other foreign cultural institutes in Vietnam, the Goethe-Institut always shares part of the program and provides material support for the development of art and culture in the host country and region. This is very important for cultural and artistic development in a developing country. I have also collaborated with other international cultural institutes such as the British Council, Japan Foundation, and L'Espace. But in terms of working forms, I find it suitable and enjoyable to cooperate with the Goethe-Institut, where the quality of academic expertise has always been focused and deepened. But on the other hand, identity and discoveries are still respected.“ (Tran Luong)