Zoe Butt - Executive Director and Curator of San Art san-art.org

Hailing from Sydney, Australia, Zoe has long been active on the pan-Asian art circuit, working with private collectors and researchers, independent curators and major museums globally. On a meta level, she’s one of the people trying to figure what makes this place tick


Show I’m really excited about:

Conjuring Capital at San Art. This exhibition showcases artists from Argentina, India, US, Cambodia and Vietnam examining the cities of Nairobi, Mumbai, Phnom Penh, Buenos Aires and Thai Nguyen. This is the first exhibition I’ve curated that brings contemporary art from abroad to Ho Chi Minh City.


Best night out last month:

Hops Beer Garden. I took a whole bunch of artists and supporters there for drinks and food and the outdoor setting was perfect. The service and food was also really good.


Best meal from last month:

I am a serious dim sum fan — Ocean Palace on Le Duan!


Thing I posted on Facebook that got the most likes:

An image of me wearing my sci-fi Chanel sunglasses in Nimes, France, with an equally stylish pal in his leathers.


Funniest Youtube clip of the month:

Tony Abbott bloopers… that man is such an embarrassment.


Song I can’t get out of my head:

Happy by Pharrell Williams!


I wish this band would come to town:

Die Antwoord from South Africa


How is the scene going in general?

I’m in the art scene, based in Ho Chi Minh City, and it’s growing quite impressively. Many of the contemporary artists that I have worked with at San Art have gone on to do marvelous projects abroad with museums, art fairs and independent organisations. Many more creatives, not just from the visual arts, but also from architecture, design, fashion, music, engineering, anthropology to name but a few, have become a part of our activities and it’s exciting to see the community diversifying like this.


The best secret in town is:

The Museum of Vietnamese History (within the grounds of the zoo). This collection has some of the best displays in the country.


Where I go when I go out on my own:

I get on my bike and I ride to the river. Sometimes I will go to a local water café on Binh Quoi, other times I’ll go and sit at ID Café in District 3 or M2C on Ly Tu Trong. Or if I’m feeling like a quiet drink I think my new fave would be First Bar... great Japanese whisky.


If my older-yet-still-cool Mom came to town, I would take her to:

Café RuNam on Mac Thi Buoi — she would totally love the interior and outdoor garden settings. She would also love Villa Song in District 2 — a stunning boutique hotel on the river. Then to Cholon to visit the myriad of temples.

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