Monday, July 13 2020

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Graffiti artist decorates house with images on COVID-19

Update: June, 20/2020 - 10:16

Minh Phương and Ly Ly Cao

HÀ NỘI — There’s a house in Hà Nội’s Hà Đông District that really is a head-turner.

The four-storey villa has been decorated in the style of propaganda messages to hammer home the importance of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. 

A house in Hà Nội's Hà Đông District has been decorated with images on COVID-19. Photo courtesy of Lê Long

The work was carried out over a month by graffiti artist Lê Long who asked the homeowner for permission to turn the property into a huge canvas for his work.

“I came up with the idea of painting propaganda pictures while witnessing COVID-19 spreading all over the world,” said Long.

“When the house owners, who are also my close friends, said they wanted to change the exterior of their house, I discussed the idea with them to change the outside of the house using the COVID-19 prevention topic.”

Long, 35, spent a month during social distancing to design and paint this artwork. Even though he had to work alone, he overcame all the difficulties such as bad weather or shortages of materials.

“My work was completed in 30 days, from April 1 to 30, during which Hà Nội was in a social distancing period,” he said.

“The most difficult things I faced were the weather and the shortage of materials.

“I did this artwork during social distancing, so everyone was at home at that time. So there were not many shops open for me to buy materials. I just tried to complete it the best I could.”

Long spent a month during social distancing to create this art piece. VNS Photo Minh Phương

Witnessing the unity of the Government and citizens in the fight against the pandemic, Long tried to use many national symbols to spread his message.

Long said: “When starting the work, I chose the Earth as the theme. And it took me two days to make up a bigger image related to the idea that Việt Nam united together to fight the virus.

“I thought of a flying chim lạc (a legendary bird of Việt Nam) which is the symbol of our country and nation. A birdcage means our country unites as one. And I drew the heart inside to emphasise that Vietnamese will bond with each other to contain COVID-19.”

When the social distancing measures were eased and everyone was able to hit the street, the public and neighbours nearby were amazed to see this unique house.

“When I completed this work, people were really surprised when passing by. They didn’t imagine there would be a big painting on the house’s wall about COVID -19 like this,” Long said.

“People thought this work was so unique and sometimes asked me about it.”

Đào Thị Lan, a neighbour with a shop opposite the house, said: “I sell Huế-style beef noodle soup opposite the house and a lot of customers asked about the painting which is full of COVID-19 images.”

“Customers really like the painting and prefer sitting where they can see the house while they’re eating.”

“The painting is very beautiful. The work about fighting COVID-19 is really cool,” Lan said.

The graffiti artist sees it as the greatest artwork he has painted in his 15-year career. For society, what he has done with the art is an effective way to raise awareness about the pandemic, which has claimed more than 400,000 lives worldwide. — VNS

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