Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — The deteriorating Mirror House inside Thống Nhất Park in downtown Hà Nội was recently redecorated with ceramic paintings by popular painter Nguyễn Thu Thủy and her colleagues from Tân Hà Nội (New Hà Nội) Company.
The Mirror House, or Laughing House, was built in 1979 with support from the former Czechoslovakia government. The House was built in the shape of a huge snail shell, with 50 mirrors reflecting distorted images of visitors.
The House was in a state of disrepair with oxidized mirrors, leaking roof and damp walls.
Hà Nội’s authorities assigned the company to renovate the House and turn it into an artistic work engraved with ceramic designs.
The House has total length of 60m and the walls have an average height of 6m. The wall forming the snail shell is ideal to decorate with ceramic paintings.
Thủy decided to take inspiration from the ocean theme to attract children, the House’s main visitors.
“I used images of Hạ Long Sea and Trường Sa’s [Spratly Archipelago] waves for the entire work,” she said.
The walls and floor inside the House were engraved with ceramic balls and gravel of various colours to create a sub-ocean effect with vibrant sea animals. The old mirrors were replaced.
The front wall outside the House was decorated with ceramic paintings of Hạ Long and Trường Sa.
The total ceramic area in and outside the House reached 812sq.m, with more than two million small ceramic pieces.
Preparation for the project was underway for one year before the artists engraved the paintings in three months.
The Việt Nam Fine Arts Association has bestowed Thủy with the For the Sake of Vietnamese Fine Arts Medal.
“It’s a great honour for me to have the opportunity to change the ceramic details of an architecture that holds many memories for Hanoian people following the war,” she said. “I’m even happier as many families are visiting the House again.” — VNS