Updated: Dec 7, 2021
Original article here: Crazy Monkey (giglifepro.com)
Crazy Monkey (Tùng Khỉ) is an entrepreneur, creative director and visual artist based in Ho Chi Minh city. He is widely known as one of the very first Vietnamese visual artists and has been paving the way for this profession to thrive in the country. Over a decade of his career, Crazy Monkey has gained his high reputation and the respect of the creative community in Vietnam through his pioneering work in various sectors, his agency BOX Studio and his active advocacy of Vietnamese traditional culture.
We speak to Crazy Monkey to track down the milestones of his glorious career, to hear his behind the scene stories as well as to get his insight on the Vietnamese music market in our Pro Spotlight feature below.
Hi Crazy Monkey, can you tell us a bit about yourself and how did you get started working in the music/entertainment industry?
Hi, my name is Le Thanh Tung but people like to call me Crazy Monkey. I'm a freelance visual artist, founder of BOX studio and a fan of RPG games.
I started to deeply participate in the entertainment industry after approaching the work of a VJing artist about 7 years ago. Thanks to Vjing, I have been invited by many artists to collaborate on their music and art products. Me and my team at BOX also attended many music festivals and was in charge of the stage visual for most of the participating artists.
Crazy Monkey (Tùng Khỉ)
What motivated you to become a visual artist in the first place and what keeps you going? The first moment when I saw my designs “dance” on stage and got cheers from the crowd, I knew I was going to pursue this field for the long haul. Besides, the experience with many types of screening & showcasing artworks, the possibilities of the latest imaging technologies or the opportunity to collaborate with artists in various fields are factors that keep me creative and focused into this direction.
You're one of the pioneering visual artists in Vietnam. What were some of the obstacles back then when you started and met on the path of your visual art career? To be fair, my start wasn't as difficult as people thought. Since 2013 when not many people understood what VJing is, I have had advantages when defining this industry in Vietnam. Besides, with my professionally trained Multimedia Art background, I have gone quite quickly as a Visual artist when the majority of artists in Vietnam are still unfamiliar with computer imaging technologies. .
However, the most difficult point in my career also occurred in 2013 when I began to divide my time with VJing and gradually gave up my job as a Creative in the Advertising industry. The transition was not sudden, but took about 2 years for me to get enough knowledge and financial resources to move to another field completely.
Tell us about your company BOX Studio and Capital Studio? What are the services that they provide? Since the beginning of 2019, BOX has merged with Capital Studio after collaborating on many successful projects together. I am very happy that BOX is now a member of Capital Mega City's film production - technology - event organization - show business ecosystem. The journey from an after-hours side job, to a five-person studio, to merging with such a large entertainment corporation is an exciting one. Currently Box and Capital Studio provide a full package of virtual production services, XR, VR and AR virtual content technologies. We have the largest indoor virtual studio in Vietnam and one of the top in Southeast Asia. Besides, Capital Studio provides the first Dobby Atmos standard sound service in Vietnam.
BOX Studio's visual at Ravolution Music Festival
What are some of the proudest/fondest moments in your career so far?
The moment when I projected my illustrative work on the surface of the Independence Palace building in an Projection Mapping art show of Viettel. For me, that moment confirmed my existence and influence in the city of Saigon. The Independence Palace building is a symbol of history, and for an immigrant like me it was an honor, an unforgettable moment. As an underground artist yourself, how important is the indie/underground scene in Vietnam?
The indie art community in Vietnam is one of the cutest groups of people I've been fortunate enough to know. Pure art collaborations, full of discovery and innocence, full of novelty, are what you will witness if you are honest with them. I think this community is an indispensable material to make Saigon the city it is referred to. The diversity of culture and materials of this city is also an endless inspiration for underground art and for the people who live there. What is the biggest change in the music industry in Vietnam that you've witnessed over more than 20 years of your career?
The diversity in music genres and originality are highlighted, which I see most clearly. Different from a primitive music industry in the 90s, now a well-trained young artist generation has really changed my opinion about the music scene in Vietnam.
You've been performing and attending quite a lot of Asian music festivals, art exhibitions, what do you think Vietnam's music market can learn from other markets in the region?
Currently, Vietnam's music market is really diverse and strong enough for artists to experiment with new materials without having to fear the acceptance of the majority. By following the art markets of countries in the region, I see that Vietnamese music artists should approach the trend using Contemporary Art in their next product. This is a very new, very artistic trend that is being widely applied in modern music. In Vietnam, I see Suboi leading this trend with the newly released No Ne album. Who are some cool Vietnamese music or visual artists/crews/collectives that people should know about?
Suboi, check out her current music campaign No Ne. Gãy Collective, their music is Addictive. 70000 or 70K is the highly- promising music label in Saigon. Also VNDTown from Hanoi is the one in the spotlight.
If you are looking for the new generation of Visual Art collective in Vietnam, check out AntiantiArt and Fustic. They are my pride just to name a few..
Can you share some words of advice for aspiring visual artists/musicians who want to follow music/visual art as their career? If you're making music, learn how to make visuals. If you're doing visuals, learn how to make music. The next generation of the world's arts community will be the generation of content creators. All boundaries will blur, and Art content creator will be a generic term.
BOX Studio's visual for Lumiere Dalat
Lastly, what can we expect from Crazy Monkey, The Box Collective and Capital Studio in the next year?
I do not know… Just kidding, I hope the pandemic will end so that Capital Studio and I can accomplish our planned goals. I think everyone is wishing for the same thing. For Crazy Monkey I hope to sell my first NFT collection within this year!
Stay up to date with Crazy Monkey and BOX studio: