Category Archives: Educational

Public Art for Better Space (2020 Quarantine Edition)

Many visitors arrive in Hanoi excited to check out the Ceramic Mosaic Mural which was recognized in 2010 by Guinness World Records as the largest ceramic mural in the world at that time.  Yes, it’s a great tour stop and one could spend hours strolling, inspecting, and photographing this 4 mile work of art.  But I’m never one to focus my time on the “popular” spots!  I took this opportunity to explore a lesser known but (to me) more beautiful work of art…and I’m glad I did.

The Vietnam-Korea Joint Project Public Art for Better Space (NGHE THUAT) Project was initiated as an art exchange project to celebrate 25 years of friendship between Vietnam and South Korea. 

The murals are located along a ~200m stretch of Phùng Hung Street under the railway which leads to the Long Bien Bridge.  There are 19 paintings designed to celebrate the culture and spirit of 1000 years of history in Hanoi.  But this is not just a historical exhibit.  The murals include interactive and 3D paintings which delight visitors and invite them to become a part of the art.  Some are truly incredible!

Some depict scenes of daily life in Old Hanoi…

The Master Caligrapher at Work usually draws quite a crowd!

Many of the murals invite viewers to interact and become a part of the scene.

The murals are not limited to just paintings – they are multimedia art.

This beautiful 3D cutout mural uses a technique called trompe-l’oeil.

And of course, the railway art project would not be complete without a depiction of the bridge to which it leads!

Photos don’t really do it justice, but I really enjoyed this experience. My only regret is not spending more time “interacting” with the murals!  Add it to the list for next time. 🙂

Post Script to “Primary School in Malawi”…

My last post seems to have instigated some discussion – thanks for the messages!  After posting, I watched a wonderful documentary that I many of you may enjoy, so I wanted to share the details.

“On the Way to School” chronicles a few of the physical struggles that some families around the world have to overcome in order to allow their children to attend school.  Reviews  from New York to LA are positive yet hesitant – raising the issue of the depth of the stories in the face of beautiful landscapes and a somewhat glorified depiction of these rural families.  Despite these potential criticisms, I think this movie is a great reminder to those of us who think that a good education is an expectation, rather than a privilege.  Based on my travels, the stories are very real and the children will make you smile. 🙂

I watched “On the Way to School” for free through my local library, but you can also get a copy via iTunes, NetFlix, and other online services.