|Many public places in HCM City are vandalised with graffiti. – VNS Photo An Phương
Multiple sites in HCM City, including bus stops, metro trains and the newly opened Thủ Thiêm 2 Bridge, have been vandalised with graffiti.
Locals have complained about how various public properties have been damaged with graffiti by some youth groups.
It is relatively easy to spot graffiti along the city's main streets such as Nguyễn Thị Minh Khai, Điện Biên Phủ, Võ Thị Sáu, Hai Bà Trưng, Tôn Đức Thắng and Lê Thánh Tôn, and along suburban areas such as Hà Nội Highway and Mai Chí Thọ Street.
Those who draw graffiti practice drawing proficiently on paper before quietly translating their art onto public walls with their signatures.
“They only know each other via nicknames and most of them are aware of how costly and dangerous this act might be,” a member of the "Young 2" graffiti group, told Tuổi Trẻ (Youth) news, adding that graffiti is a playground where everyone has a distinguished style.
According to a street food vendor at the Thi Sách and Hai Bà Trưng crossroads the area has become a “playground” for graffiti groups in recent years. They are all young adults who often go in pairs to paint at night to avoid detection.
She has been sometimes warned by them to keep quiet and let them do “their job”.
From home to office
"I just had the wall in front of the house repainted, but the next morning it was messed up by graffiti. I have decided to leave it that way because clean walls only make it convenient for graffiti painters to do further vandalism,” said Trung, owner of a house with a prime location in District 1.
Văn Trường’s house in District 1 was in the same situation.
His white wall was smeared after only one night. Though he had it repainted, the newly painted wall was damaged again after a week and now he cannot help but leave it at that.
"Obviously, graffiti like this is an act of vandalism, and it needs to be dealt with very seriously,” Trường said.
Graffiti also appear in front of the headquarters of state agencies such as the HCM City Department of Transport and the Department of Information and Communication.
On Nguyễn Bỉnh Khiêm Street in District 1, the front walls of two houses next to the headquarters of the representative office of the Ministry of Information and Communications have been covered with a series of graffiti. The vandals did not forget to sign their street names as a way to claim their work.
Similarly, black paint stains have been spotted along many electrical cabinets at the intersection of Lê Thánh Tôn and Đồng Khởi streets, where the traffic police are on duty day and night.
According to Nguyễn Viết Quang, head of the Infrastructure Management Department under the HCM City Department of Transport, it takes five to 10 minutes to vandalise with graffiti but many days for relevant authorities to deal with it.
This can be seen from the acts of vandalism on Thủ Thiêm Bridge 2, where 14 types of cleaning solvents were used but cannot return the surface of the bridge to its original condition.
|Common cleaning solvents cannot completely return the vandalised surface of Thủ Thiêm Bridge 2 to its original condition. – VNS Photo An Phương
In fact, from the beginning of August, Quang’s team has cleaned 20 spots vandalised with graffiti around Thủ Thiêm Bridge 2.
“We have recently ordered a special cleaning chemical and it is very expensive,” Quang said, adding that necessary measures should be carried out to prevent this act of vandalism from taking place in the future.
“We are seeking support from relevant authorities to ensure safety and beauty of Thủ Thiêm Bridge 2 and other attractive public properties in HCM City,” he said. – VNS