Exhibition 2014: Creativity in the Cities
Introduction

This exhibition is depicting creative spaces in East and Southeast Asia and Europe. The core objective is to increase awareness that culture and creativity can be considered as key assets of urban development and that creative spaces may serve as a visual spatial symbol to connect art with city space and citizens.

Creativity needs a vibrant, urban environment and spaces where cultural diversity, networking and mutual inspiration can be experienced – possibly at cheap rent. Former factories, warehouses or abandoned apartment houses provide spatial resources in the cities and offer huge chances when converted into creative hubs: A complex of galleries, artist studios, craft shops, design studios as well as bars, restaurants, and cafés may form an inspirational and attractive neighborhood, both for the local citizens and for tourists.

Creative spaces can also develop into a visual spatial symbol of city marketing, which contribute to build an image of a modern and cosmopolitan metropolis against the backdrop of increasing global city competition. In this way creative spaces may be understood as one cornerstone of cultural industry development.

In Europe and the US creative spaces, also known as creative clusters or cultural quarters, emerged in the 1970s and 1980s. They were often driven by individual artists occupying vacant factories and warehouses located in declining industrial districts with low rents and weak governmental control. Nowadays, the value of creative spaces lies not only in economic possibilities, but in their intrinsic value as vehicles for the preservation of (industrial) cultural heritage and promotion of the arts.

A special thanks goes to all the people who contributed information and visual material to this exhibition.

Curator: Michael Waibel Hamburg University on behalf of Goethe-Institut Vietnam
Design Concept: Nguyen Huyen Trang
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