Artists breathe life into discarded Red River trash

By Ngoc Thanh   February 18, 2020 | 03:18 pm GMT+7

A group of Vietnamese, Spanish and Australian artists have injected vitality into a Red River community with recycled creations depicting different facets of Vietnamese culture.

Since early 2020, 16 local and international artists from Spain and Australia have been working on the art project where they adorn the 200-meter-long wall running near the Red River side in Phuc Tan ward, Hoan Kiem District.

Since early 2020, 16 local and international artists have adorned the 200-meter-long Red River wall cutting through Phuc Tan Ward, Hoan Kiem District, with various unique designs.

Two artists embellish patterns of one of the works in the project. The group of artists started surveying the area last June. They together with local residents cleaned up the wall and its surrounding before the brushes were stroke.  When we were doing the survey, there were trash everywhere, so we came up with the idea to use the trash like plastic bottles, broken glass pieces, broken mirrors, used drums, bottle caps to create the art works, Nguyen Thanh Son, the project head said.

The group of artists, who started surveying the area last June, together cleaned up the area before commencing work.

"We decided to use the discarded plastic bottles, broken glass, broken mirrors, used drums, and bottle caps to create the art," Nguyen Thanh Son, the project leader, said.

A boat, made of broken glass pieces, mirrors the same kind of boat used by locals to get around in flooding season. Son said on top of the aesthetics value, the project also supports the locality to fight the illegal encroachment of land by the Red River and promote a clean living environment.

A boat, made of broken glass, mirrors the kind used locally during floods.

Son said on top of aesthetic value, the project supports the fight against illegal encroachment of land by the river and promotes a clean living environment.

The work Ancient boat on Red River was composed of 10,000 used plastic bottles.

"Ancient Boat on Red River" comprises 10,000 used plastic bottles.

The artists behind the work Riverside city gave used drums new coats of colors and towered them into high-rise lookalikes with windows offering views of the river. The work is lit with light bulbs at night.

Artists behind "Riverside City" gave used drums a new coat of color and piled them into high-rise lookalikes with windows, lit at night, offering views of the river.

This work gives a modern twist to Thanh Giong, a folklore war hero fighting exhaust fumes on a motorbike.  In the folk story, the boy Giong grows in size to be a giant hero, who rides on an iron horse leading the Van Lang kingdom (ancient name for Vietnam) to victory against northern invaders (Han Chinese).

This work provides a modern twist on Saint Giong, a folklore war hero, fighting exhaust fumes on a motorbike.

Image of Hanoi’s iconic Long Bien Bridge is carved into an old drum. The 2.29-kilometer Long Bien Bridge was built between 1899 and 1902 by the French during their colonial time, and was the first steel bridge over the Red River. The 120-year-old bridge has become an iconic historical relic site.

Image of Hanoi’s iconic Long Bien Bridge is carved into an old drum. 

The 2.29-kilometer Long Bien Bridge was built between 1899 and 1902 by the French, and was the first steel bridge to cross the Red River.

A dragon made of broken mirror pieces curves under bamboo wickers once used to trap chickens now turned to lanterns by Spanish artists. They found the wickers in Long Bien market near the wall.

A dragon made from a broken mirror curves beneath bamboo wickers, found in Long Bien market and once used to trap chickens, now turned to lanterns by Spanish creatives.

A recreation of village life with a carved painting and nicely cut human shapes made of metal.

A recreation of Hanoi feudal life featuring a carved painting and nicely cut human shapes made of metal.

An aluminum platform attached with 20 used drums that were familiar with households living by the Red River. They typically use the drums to store water.  The project is scheduled to complete by the end of February.

A woman walks past an aluminum platform with 20 used water barrels attached. The barrels are familiar item to families living on floating homes along the river.

The decoration project is scheduled to complete by the end of February.

 
 
go to top