Tuesday, December 11 2018

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Painting team brighten up cafes in Đà Nẵng

Update: December, 02/2018 - 09:00
City scenes: Phạm Văn Thiện (right) and Nguyễn Xuân Hậu pose in front of their mural at a cafe in Đà Nẵng. — VNS Photo Công Thành
Viet Nam News

By Bùi Hoài Nam

Phạm Văn Thiện, the leader of a volunteer team from Đà Nẵng Technology College and other institutions has created art spaces for more than 100 cafes and bars in the central city since his first year studying at the college.

The group of artists has successfully transformed the walls of houses, cafes and restaurants into colourful stories, telling visitors the histories of the locations or depicting the city’s landscapes.

The art spaces present the lives of the local community, helping decorate a lively rendezvous for youngsters and tourists.

Creating colourful murals on moss-covered walls has helped students hone their skills on top of lectures at college, while offering them some income to live on.

“We started painting murals for cafés, restaurants, bars and private houses in Đà Nẵng. The paintings are an impressive attraction for young people when they want to relax and chat over a cup of coffee or tea. Colourful murals become popular, and news of a new work will spread quickly through word of mouth,” Thiện said.

“Oil and acrylic paint are the materials we use for all our paintings. We come up with the themes based on conversations with the café owners or inspiration we get while working,” he explained.

Thiện’s group of four friends and classmates at the college’s architecture faculty often work in groups to complete the painting.

“Our group could spend a week on a large mural of 100sq.m. There needs to be good co-ordination between us when we share ideas and match colours,” he said.

Each work on their own part of the painting before matching it to the larger mural. The ’artists’ discuss the work to make sure their individual parts work together as a whole.

Peaceful view: A river in Đà Nẵng painted on the wall of a restaurant. — VNS Photo Công Thành
Hustle and bustle: A painting of a street in Đà Nẵng. — VNS Photo Công Thành
Detailed work: A mural of an old bus in Đà Nẵng. — VNS Photo Công Thành
Popular spot: A mural on the Ka Cộng cafe in Đà Nẵng. — VNS Photo Công Thành
Bright colours: Mural on the outside of a restaurant. — VNS Photo Công Thành

Nguyễn Xuân Hậu, 21, said the group had worked on a number of topics, like the story of Aladdin, still life, landscapes along the Hàn River or picturesque scenes in Đà Nẵng.

“We completed a big wall painting on Ka Cộng Café of an old image of Đà Nẵng. The painting was based on an old black and white photo of the city from the 1960s,” Hậu said.

Young students enjoyed drinking tea or coffee at the café while looking at images of their city from the past.

Hậu explained that the income they received from the paintings helped them pay for college fee, while offering them a chance to improve their skills and knowledge.

“We love painting, but we are working to become architects and designers. That’s our future career, so we need time to hone our abilities.”

The owner of a café in Đà Nẵng, Trần Thanh Lâm, said he asked the painting team to draw a scene of an old corner of the city on a wall.

He said "Young people now live in a modern city, but they could still appreciate images of the city from the 1960s".

Thiện and his volunteer team also created 20 colourful murals on moss-covered walls in a village on Tam Hải Island, off the coast of Quảng Nam Province.

The voluntary programme aims to raise awareness among local residents on environmental and beach protection through art.

The murals remind local residents not to throw rubbish on the beach or at public sites.

Murals have emerged as a new artistic style in central Việt Nam after old houses in Tam Thanh fishing village of Quảng Nam were decorated with colourful paintings by the Korea Foundation Community Art Exchange Programme in 2016.

The wall painting projects were then repeated in rural areas on An Bình Islet, in Đà Nẵng, and at a village in Bình Sơn District of Quảng Ngãi Province.

Thiện said his group will continue creating murals at eco-tour sites and public areas around Đà Nẵng and neighbouring provinces.— VNS

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