return icon

Artworks decorate neglected riverbank site

An area in Hanoi's Phuc Tan Commune by the Red River has been revitalised in recent days after a group of artists decided to install art in the former dumping ground.

The group is trying to turn the area at the foot of Long Bien Bridge, which is mostly frequented by homeless people and scrap-iron dealers, into an attractive spot for local youths and tourists.

Vu Xuan Dong and one of his colleagues work on the installation work titled Boat. VNS Photo Le Huong

Sixteen artworks made from recycled materials have been placed along the old wall, which was built 20 years ago to prevent people from encroaching on the river bank.

Among the most eye-catching pieces, the installation titled Thuyền (Boat) by Vu Xuan Dong made from 10,000 used oil bottles seems to float along the old wall full of graffiti.

“This project calls for works using recycled materials,” he told Việt Nam News. “I gathered used plastic bottles and cans and asked other people to help to collect them as well.”

“For a green, clean and beautiful world, I would like to encourage people to join hands to save the environment,” Dong said.

“And these thrown away materials can still be used to make artworks for local audiences,” he added.

The CIty by a River installation work made of barrels by Nguyen Ngoc Lam. Photo courtesy of Nguyen The Son

Art researcher Tran Hau Yen The contributed the installation entitled Bức Tường Danh Vọng (The Wall of Fame) with images of metal windows and doors of old Hanoi houses.

“In some of my long-term research on the effect of Long Bien Bridge on Hanoi’s landscape, I have realised the important role of metal in architecture decorations,” he said.

“This work reflects houses which are disappearing. They have either completely disappeared or have faded in contemporary life. These images reflect doors, balconies, windows in houses of various important figures in Hanoi in the past. They are poets, painters and building contractors who have made considerable contributions to the city.”

A child by the installation work Circles by Trinh Minh Tien. Photo courtesy of Nguyen The Son

The said he wanted to describe a legend when someone kisses a frozen ruined city, the city would be awakened.

“This is a fiction that the once glorious Hanoi will rejuvenate,” he said. “The same as how this space near Long Bien Bridge will be livened up by the project.”

Acting as the curator for the project, artist Nguyen The Son, a lecturer from the Hanoi Fine Arts University, was asked by the Hoan Kiem District’s People’s Committee to turn the old dumping area into an artful destination.

Street Hawkers, an installation by Nguyen The Son. Photo courtesy of Nguyen The Son

They spent more than a month turning the dusty wall overlooking the river into an artful space. Running along the wall is a bumpy cement road full of rubbish and dog shit.

“We have tried to co-ordinate with the local community from the beginning,” he said. “We introduced the project, artists and works to locals. They were very happy and excited about the artworks. Most of the people think this is the backside of the city. Not only residents here, but people from other areas in the city also bring rubbish to dump here.

“That’s why we try to use rubbish and recycled materials in our works,” he said. “We encourage locals to collect used bottles and other materials for us to use in this project. We hope to change people’s attitude towards the environment. Many people have joined our project from the beginning. They can be proud of the artworks and their living environment now.”

Son himself has two installations at the site, named Gánh Hàng Rong (Street Hawkers) and Phù Điêu Đông Dương (Bas-Relief of Indochina).

With various images of women selling things, carrying their basket on their poles made from metal covered with a mirror, Son describes trading scenes on this riverside in the early 20th century.

Son said a nearby tea shop was part of his artwork as well.

Two bas-reliefs made of concrete covered with ceramic depict two famous paintings by popular painters Vu Cao Dam (1908-2000) and George Khanh (1906-unknown) on people working in a harbour area.

With the two parts of the installation, Son wants to create a dialogue between two generations of artists on labourers in Vietnam.

Son said this was the first project of its kind gathering so many artists and the artworks could last up to five years.

“This can be considered the first long-term community art project made from recycled materials in Hanoi,” he said.

Son has also hosted other art projects like the wall paintings at vaults in Phung Hung Street and contemporary art project in the basement under the National Assembly building.

Two foreign artists who have joined the project are Spanish fashion designer Diego Cortiza and Australian painter George Burchett.

Cortiza, who has been inspired by Hanoi in his Chula trademarked items, made his Colours piece out of bamboo chicken cages taken from the nearby Long Bien Market. The chicken cages have been turned into lanterns that light up the colourful dragon on the wall.

Burchett made an elephant, which has been famous in the history of Vietnam for centuries.

George Burchett by his metal elephant, which can be moved by people. VNS Photo Le Huong

“Now the elephants are in danger,” he said. “They are actually on the verge of extinction. So we have to do something about it.”

The other installation named Sống Xanh (Living Green) by Burchett describes people acting for the environment. Some of them carry signs encouraging people to keep the environment clean.
All of Burchett’s works can be touched.

“Children can play here and interact with my works,” he said. “I love Hanoi and I think not only artists but also anyone can make the city cleaner, greener and more beautiful.”
Hoang Thi Nga, who owns the tea shop that is part of Sơn's work, said everybody living nearby liked the project.

A resident takes photos for her children at the site. VNS Photo Le Huong

“I think the artworks are beautiful, which decorate the local surroundings and improve our living environment and make the city more beautiful,” she said.
She said locals are trying to protect the artworks.

“When children play, we tell them not to damage the works,” she said. “We always clean up the site so that more people from other areas can come to enjoy the art.”

Installation Nha Noi (Floating Houses) by Le Dang Ninh with lights at night. Photo courtesy of Nguyen The Son

Pham Tuan Long, deputy chairman of Hoan Kiem People’s Committee said in a longer plan, the land plot opposite the wall, next to the river, would be made into a flower garden.

“Authorities hope this open space and contemporary art will turn Phuc Tan dumping place into a scenic spot of the city,” he said. VNS

By Le Huong

Five Tet theme picture-taking hotspots in Hanoi

Five Tet theme picture-taking hotspots in Hanoi

Phung Hung mural street, Hang Ma, Nhat Tan peach garden are among five favorable options for perfect Instagrammable photos.

Street art made from recycled material goes on display in Hanoi

Street art made from recycled material goes on display in Hanoi

A street in Phuc Tan ward in Hanoi has been decorated by series of art displays that have been made using recycled rubbish.


Vietnam posts US$10.6 billion trade surplus in Jan-Nov

The country’s exports amounted to US$342.2 billion while its import spending totaled US$331.6 billion between January and November, generating a trade surplus of US$10.6 billion, according to the General Statistics Office of Vietnam.

What are Vietnam’s opportunities in the face of new reforms in China?

Vietnam-China relations in the past were based mostly on trade and construction bids. What will be important for the new period?

US spends over US$13 billion purchasing local computers and electronics

Vietnamese electronic computers and component exports to the United States during the initial 10 month of the year surged by 26.4% to reach US$13.23 billion against the same period from last year.

Experts discuss need for capital disbursement, loans to enterprises

More public investment funds should be disbursed and credit limits lifted to provide capital and improve capital flow, experts have said.

Vietnam welcomes 2.95 million foreign tourists over 11-month period

The country welcomed 2.95 million foreign visitors during the initial 11 months of the year, a figure 21.1 times higher compared to the same period from last year, but still down 81.9% compared with pre-pandemic levels in 2019.

Ministry to tighten control of joint training programs with foreign partners

About 25,000 students are studying in about 300 joint programs with foreign schools in Vietnam.

IPP Air Cargo approval procedure suspended at investor's request

The Transport Ministry has informed to the Prime Minister of a suspension of the approval procedure for the IPP Air Cargo JSC at the request of the carrier’s investor.

Borussia Dortmund touches down in Vietnam

Renowned midfielder Marco Reus and a delegation made up of 123 players and staff from leading German side Borussia Dortmund landed at Noi Bai International Airport on November 29.

National Assembly Chairman begins official visit to Australia

National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue and the Vietnamese NA's delegation arrived in Canberra on November 29 evening (local time), starting an official visit to Australia from November 30 - December 3.


International Circus Festival to open in December


EVN's losses estimated at VND31.3 trillion in 2022

Co la, the food tray that demonstrates Muong ethnic culture in Hoa Binh

For Muong ethnic people, especially those living in Hoa Binh Province, cỗ lá (literally means a food tray displaying several dishes) is more than just a popular food.

Experts call for Hanoi to become a 'creative city'

Cultural industry development is a new issue, and Hanoi does not have much experience promoting its potential advantages.

Apple jumps to second highest seller of smartphones in Vietnam for first time

iPhone accounted for 20.5 percent of market share in Vietnam in October 2022, according to GfK.

Credit concerns affecting Vietnamese stocks should ease soon: VinaCapital

The demand for new housing units in Vietnam is still strong and prices are still affordable, and so the prices of real estate stocks are likely to recover if and when the Government takes action to ease credit conditions.