Departing from the worn, bromidic use of iconography, a new generation of visual artists in Hanoi are leading the way to repaint their beloved city in new lights, as seen from the winning works of a recently wrapped up art contest titled 'Hanoi is…'
'Hanoi is…’ was organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in collaboration with UN-Habitat and the youth community Vietnam Local Artist Group.
It called for unconventional and refreshing ideas to portray Hanoi as a city of innovation, worthy of the title 'Hanoi - Creative City' awarded by UNESCO in 2019.
The competition attracted nearly 250 young artists, who used digital paintings, silk paintings, collage art, and lacquer, among others, to present their unique outlooks on the capital city.
Standing out from their works are the candid slices of life in the Vietnamese capital, namely street food stalls, roadside chess games, and public announcement loudspeakers, all rendered in exuberant color palettes and convention-breaking points of view.
The winner, Dang Thai Tuan, bagged a cash prize of VND10 million (US$438) for his work ‘Ha Noi Rong’ (Hanoi’s Street Vendors), which imagines the cultural landmarks of the city to be carried on the shoulder of an animatronic street vendor.
Meanwhile, Tran Phat scored the runner-up title of the competition with his work ‘Hanoi by Night.'
Despite having yet to visit Hanoi, Phat showcased a rich interpretation of what he envisions as life in the capital city, where each apartment unit houses a vibrant, idiosyncratic lifestyle.
The jury also announced four runners-up in total, an Audience’s Choice winner, and 24 honorable mentions.
Below are selected artworks from the contest:
‘Hanoi by Night’ by Tran Phat, first runner-up of the 'Hanoi is…' art contest, depicts the artist’s own interpretation of the Vietnamese capital as he has yet to visit the city.
‘Bet’ (Street Stall) by Vuong Hong Thao
‘Dau Oc Tren May’ (Head in the Cloud) by Ha Manh Hieu
‘Mot Bat Bun ngan’ (A Bowl of Duck Noodle Soup) by Ton Nu Thi Bich
An award-winning artwork from Hoang Long Anh depicts an array of chairs frequently seen in Hanoi.
An award-winning artwork from Hoa Thien Thanh depicts the artist’s personal memories with Hanoi.
An award-winning artwork from Duong Linh Dan visualizes Hanoi’s iconic Long Bien Bridge.
An award-winning artwork from Pham Quang Hung reimagines Hanoi’s public announcement loudspeaker system.
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