|Gathering: Members of the Friends of Vietnamese Heritage group (FVH) pose in front of the Mirror House. — VNS Photo Nguyễn Hà
HÀ NỘI — Artist Nguyễn Thu Thủy hosted a visit and talk at the Mirror House in Thống Nhất Park, Hà Nội, with many international guests who are members of the Friends of Vietnamese Heritage group (FVH).
The Mirror House, or Laughing House, was built in 1979 with support from the government of the former Czechoslovakia.
Renata Greploud, spouse of the Czech Ambassador to Việt Nam, was moved to visit the construction when she learned it has a new coat made from colourful ceramic pieces.
The guests learned how the construction was coated with ceramic pieces to make it “a sea world” on the land. They applauded Thủy’s project and expressed appreciation for the efforts of Hà Nội’s authorities and artists in preserving public art constructions.
|Talking pottery: Nguyễn Thu Thủy hosts a talk introducing her work to coat the Mirror House with ceramic pieces. — VNS Photo Nguyễn Hà
Thủy has finished the first part of the project and the new Mirror House began receiving guests early this month. She will finish 3D paintings inside the house in the near future.
The house was built in the shape of a huge snail shell, with a labyrinth of 50 mirrors reflecting distorted images of visitors.
The House was in a state of disrepair with oxidised mirrors, leaking roof and damp walls until Thủy’s project started in July 2017.
Hà Nội authorities assigned Thủy and designers from the Tân Hà Nội company to renovate the house and turn it into an artistic work engraved with ceramic designs.
|Welcome: Artist Nguyễn Thu Thủy presents flowers to Renata Greploud, spouse of the Czech Ambassador to Việt Nam. — VNS Photo Nguyễn Hà
Thủy decided to take inspiration from the ocean. The floor was paved with the colour of ocean blue to depict an aquatic scene of coral, sea star, sea anemone and fishes. She used images of Hạ Long Bay and Trường Sa’s [Spratly Archipelago] waves as guidance for the entire work.
Thủy is considered primarily an artist of ceramic paintings. It was her idea to transform the Red River Dyke Road wall into a work of art running along Âu Cơ, Nghi Tàm, Yên Phụ, Trần Nhật Duật, Trần Quang Khải and Trần Khánh Dư streets. At 3.85km long, this is the world’s largest ceramic mosaic and was awarded a Guinness World Records certificate.
She is also the mastermind of a great number of other public works of art such as the ceramic mosaic lotus steps in Thanh Hóa Province, the Hà Nội Amsterdam school mosaic sign, mosaic items along Trấn Vũ Street by Trúc Bạch Lake (Hà Nội) and the painted mural wall in the Đà Nẵng International Airport. — VNS