|A visitor takes a photo of the postcards on display at the Work Room Four design studio in Hà Nội during the "Postcards from the pandemic" exhibition on Saturday. VNS Photo Vân Nguyễn|
HÀ NỘI An art project in Hà Nội has put the focus on emotional wellbeing while dealing with COVID-19 through the medium of mail art.
Starting in early November, the “Postcards from the pandemic” project provides a space for people to express how they feel about COVID-19 and social distancing.
People were asked to write, draw, or make a collage of their feelings on a postcard and send it via post, email, or a digital link to Work Room Four, a Hà Nội-based design studio, where the postcards will be exhibited anonymously.
Claire Driscoll, Work Room Four’s founder and organiser of the exhibition, told Việt Nam News: “After nearly three months of us being closed, working from home and being very distant from each other, we wanted to create an exhibition that was about community and about bringing everyone back together through an emotional expression. So instead of it being related to making something perfect, making a perfect picture, or making something that felt like more pressure, it was turned to evoke people’s emotional response.
“It’s about telling something happened to you. Maybe you learned a new skill, maybe you learned something about yourself, maybe you found joy in something you never knew, or maybe you were really sad and found it really difficult.”
|A wall at the exhibition where visitors can put up stickers that express their feelings at the time of their visits. VNS Photo Bảo Hoa|
A small corner of the exhibition is dedicated to visitors who want to make their own postcards on the spot, with art and craft supplies provided.
Some exhibits were designed to be interactive and encouraged people to express how they feel at the time of their visits.
A book was made of all the postcards submitted and is available for purchase. "We will donate all the profits to this book towards BasicNeeds, which is a Việt Nam-based mental health charity," Driscoll said.
For some, the postcards make them feel less alone in their feelings.
Yoona Bok, a mother of two from South Korea, found a postcard she could really relate to. It was written by a mum about how hard it was to spend months of social distancing with her children and barely leaving the house.
“As a mum, it’s kind of hard to deal with a lot of kids at home. Because it’s been, I guess six or seven months, since April,” she said. “I think that postcard is representing most mums and how they feel now.”
|The postcards convey how people feel about the COVID-19 pandemic. VNS Photo Bảo Hoa|
Nguyễn Thị Hạnh, 23, liked that she could read how others feel about COVID-19.
She said: “There are lots of messages on display here, so young people can read them and send in their own about the dreams, hopes, and plans they want to do when the pandemic ends.” VNS