Thursday, June 4 2020


Sketches depicting quarantine life to be released in book

Update: May, 13/2020 - 14:49


The cover of the book Con Đã Về Nhà (I’m Home) that features sketches portraying 14-days of centralised quarantine to prevent the virus spread of author Tăng Quang. — Photo Tăng Quang Facebook

HÀ NỘI — A bilingual Vietnamese-English book that features sketches portraying 14-days of centralised quarantine to prevent the virus spread with comments from its author will be published by Phụ Nữ (Women) Publishing House at the end of May.

The sketch collection, entitled Con Đã Về Nhà (I’m Home), is resulted from the real experience of young architect Nguyễn Tăng Quang after he came back from England and had to be placed in centralised quarantine at the Military School Zone 7 in HCM City.

Initially, a part of the collection was published on Quang’s personal Facebook, receiving over 40,000 likes and shares. It became instantly viral not only in Việt Nam but also around the world.

According to Women Publishing House, besides vividly revealing an unforgettable reality of the world on struggling against the fatal virus, the book is also expected to thank the doctors and the soldiers on the frontline or in the quarantine zones.

At the same time, the money raised from its sales will help support disadvantaged women affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

A sketch in he book Con Đã Về Nhà (I’m Home) by Tăng Quang.

“First of all, I would like to thank everyone for your interest and affection for the sketches I drew at the Military School Zone 7,” wrote Quang on his Facebook.

“Honestly, I do not intend to continue with the next part of the story, because by the time I shared its first part on social media, I had only four days left to finish my quarantine time. However, the drawings created a little fun for everyone in the quarantine centre and the doctors have also asked me to create more paintings,” he continued.

Intentionally drawing for light relief, Quang was pretty free and comfortable to approach the topic. His first sketches capture the entertaining and humorous moments at the centre or the eagerness of the quarantiners preparing to come back home.

“They are real scenes and emotions. The humour and entertaining element is also integrated into the drawings as it is part of my personality, but its details are based on the truth. Though there are some exaggerations, they are mainly for fun. I presented all of my previous drawings to the Military School Zone 7 and the characters,” Quang said.

After accepting the invitation to work on a book with Women Publishing House, he started to draw day and night to change the observation angle, refine the content and re-connect the storyline. However, some sketches have to be made according to recalls or imagination as the memories have passed.

“So on this trip back to Việt Nam, apart from the huge debt from air fares and rent in the UK, I was fortunate to have such a spiritual gift. The book is the days-and-nights efforts of many individuals, from editors to the community of Vietnamese students overseas who have worked together on its content, translation and illustrations,” the architect wrote on his Facebook page.

“I was first moved by the reality as well as the author’s talent and interesting personality revealed through sketches and comments,” said Dr. Bùi Trân Phượng, the rector of Hoa Sen University.

“Sharing Quang’s sketches on Facebook after thanking the author, I want to sincerely thank the university for helping to improve his expertise and his family for nurturing his personality,” she added.

Phượng herself has also been through a 14-day COVID-19 quarantine in an army camp, so she said that Quang’s experience and expressions were completely authentic and familiar to everyone.

Quang studies MA Design Management at the University of the Arts London. He has been involved in designing many cultural, educational and resort projects in both Việt Nam and other countries like Singapore and Australia. He also works in the field of community art consultancy, skill development and art event organisations.

He returned to Việt Nam on March 17 and was quarantined at ​​the Military School Zone 7, District 12, HCM City. He has since left quarantine.

In his spare time in the isolation area, he sketched 16 drawings depicting life in quarantine, using colour pencils, watercolour paints and two pens for sketching. — VNS

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