Take one last look at Saigon’s famous art alley before it's gone

By Quynh Tran   April 10, 2017 | 07:54 pm PT
3A Station is being mourned by art lovers as the venue is about to make way for urban development projects.

Restored from an old French-era building in 2014, 3A (Alternative Art Area) Station has been a youth-magnet in the city, and usually referred to as a must-visit destination for anyone who is interested in the local vibrant art scene. The station is being taken apart and will be closed this Saturday, three years after opening. Work on new urban projects is set to start in early May.


The 2,000-square-meter area, tucked away in the 3A alley off Ton Duc Thang Street, houses art galleries, cafés, handicraft stores and clothes shops. It has also held major events and street art fairs.


Graffiti-covered walls in 3A Station are a favorite backdrop for photographers.


Two girls try to capture the memories. 3A Station was dubbed as the southern incarnation of Zone 9, the country’s pioneering contemporary art center in Hanoi, which was shut down in 2013 as the building was deemed to be unsafe for visitors.


Walls have been pulled down or repainted to cover up the graffiti. “It’s sad to see this whole creativity getting destroyed,” said Thanh Mai, a shop owner at the station.


Shops have rushed to pack and move. Le Kim Phuong, who owns a clothes shop, said she has found a new venue. “But I might never find another place full of energy like this one.”


This farewell message too will be gone.

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