Inspiring local talent

Doan Ngoc Duy is a familiar name to organisations like Adobe Youth Voices, Huynh Tan Phat Foundation and Smile Group. With these groups, Duy shared his design and filmmaking knowledge with disadvantaged kids and young creative enthusiasts.

After graduating from the Bachelor of Design (Digital Media) program, his skills and ability to lead at the ready, Duy was assigned to managerial roles in his workplaces including PNJ, KOVA, MullenLowe, and Mirum.

Though busy with projects, the young Creative Director maintains his promise to support community programs like Gop tinh trao Tet by Unilever, and Narrow the Gap by the LIN Center for Community Development.


Bringing artists together

Recently, Duy completed his role as the Creative Director of the Australia – Vietnam Mural Village in Cao Lanh, Dong Thap Province, a community art project funded by the Australian Embassy in Vietnam.

Conceptualised by Duy, thirty artists from Australia and Vietnam painted the murals onto 800m2 of wall area along the Tien River in Tan Tich Hamlet, Tinh Thoi Commune, Cao Lanh.

“[In these murals] we wanted to achieve an ingenious blend of traditional beauty, some modern twists, and daily life moments of the residents,” Duy said of his idea behind the Mural Village.

With the new Cao Lanh Bridge across the Tien River opening recently, residents in the Mural Village can now also welcome a brand-new look for their hometown.

“Creative direction is not simply about coming up with new ideas or designing beautiful products, but also about communicating these ideas, listening to feedback, working with each other to improve the ideas and turning them into something that will benefit the community,” Duy explained.

Doan Ngoc Duy joins (from left) His Excellency Mr Craig Chittick, Australian Ambassador to Vietnam, Mr Nguyen Van Duong, Chairman of the People's Committee, Dong Thap Province, and The Hon Julie Bishop MP, Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs at the launching ceremony of the Vietnam – Australia Mural Village.

“This project is also an opportunity for art students and professional artists in Vietnam and from other countries to experiment with community art.”

Passing on the creativity

Duy realised his dream of becoming an educator and became a visiting lecturer at the Ho Chi Minh City University of Fine Arts, then at Hoa Sen University and FPT University. He currently lectures at the Ho Chi Minh City University of Architecture.

“I never considered teaching a part-time job to make more money. I dreamt of being a lecturer so that I can help to cultivate [creativity in] young generations. With that in mind, despite the challenges, I never find it tiring.”

Duy encourages his students to continuously immerse themselves in cultural, historical and social knowledge in order to create meaningful designs.

He is also devoted to applying service learning to his courses. Duy connects students with real-world projects, for example supporting the deaf community or campaigning for natural resource preservation. This allows them to learn through practical experience and use design to contribute to their community while still in university.

“Like other educators, I try my best when teaching in the hope that I can foster strong capabilities and professional values in the young generation. Hopefully, the creative industry in Vietnam will achieve sustainable growth,” Duy shared.

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