Hanoi puts best face forward

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VietnamPlus English - 31 month(s) ago 3 readings

An art exhibition entitled Nha Mat Pho (Houses Facing the Street) by Nguyen The Son, focusing on the rapidly changing nature of the capital, is on display at the Goethe Institute.



Son has utilised "giclee print" technology in his work, which features huge billboards covering entire house fronts in various colours.

Hanoi 's residential buildings, which have long shaped the face of the city, are changing: instead of windows and balconies that facilitate communication between neighbours, tall billboards seal houses off, both towards the street, the outside and the inside.

The artist seized upon the issue of these billboards and by digital means made them into entire streets using a unique printing technique on fine arts paper and silk.

"With a closer look at the relief-like photographs in Son's installations we see people passing by on motorcycles," said art critic Veronika Radulovic.

"Families, workers, mothers with their children; their movements mirror the tempo of the times. Even the variety of motorcycles testifies to economic change," she added.

"My project developed based on economic change and increasing government-allowed privatisation," Son explained.

During research and implementation, the artist created a type of "photographic relief" by using both the billboards and the people who make them as material in a topical and documentary style.

"I would like to present life in miniature, a visual game which viewers are stimulated to decode," he said.

Many art lovers attended the exhibition opening ceremony.

"I thought I was familiar with the city's streets, but the exhibit has given me a whole new perspective," said visitor Pham My Dung.

Born in 1978, Son graduated from the Vietnam Fine Arts College. In 2008, he began his Master's degree in Fine Art Photography at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing .

Apart from his solo exhibitions Headwash (2005), High Above (2007) and New Higher Level (2009), his works have been shown in numerous group exhibitions in Vietnam and China since 2000.

Nha Mat Pho will run until March 28 at 66 Nguyen Thai Hoc Street.-VNA

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