- Published on Thursday, 02 March 2017 11:57
- Written by Dana Filek-Gibson. Photo by Lee Starnes.
After three years, 3A Station is closing.
The trendy, art-infused alley, once touted as Saigon’s answer to Zone 9, a short-lived but much-loved art space in Hanoi, will be shuttered by May 1 in order to hand over the property for an urban development project.
“From the very beginning, we’ve been very enthusiastic about combining contemporary art with an entertainment space,” 3A Station’s management team wrote yesterday in an email to its tenants. “With this desire and enthusiasm, we had lots of plans to expand and develop 3A Station into a destination not to be missed in Ho Chi Minh City and to serve the business development needs of our tenants. However, we are very sorry to say that our company has received a notice from the authorities to cease operations and relocate for the purpose of reclaiming this land to serve urban development projects for the city.”
Over its three-year tenure, the space managed to draw a series of independent local designers, namely Sadec District and Nau Corner, as well as art-related spaces like Giant Step, the city’s only dedicated gallery for street art. Additional art-related events, like the city’s first-ever affordable art fair in 2015, have also helped to fuel 3A’s reputation as an important space for Saigon street art.
Prior to its life as an art venue, however, 3A served as the site of multiple government intelligence agencies, including the intelligence arm of the South Vietnamese government, the American CIA and, later, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, according to historian Tim Doling.
Moving forward, it’s unclear specifically what new project will occupy 3A Station, however the 3A management team is currently looking for a new venue in which to continue their efforts in promoting Saigon’s contemporary art scene.