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Sketching artists preserve memories, inspire love for Hanoi

A growing group of Hanoi lovers are taking to the streets and sketching precious images of the rapidly changing city for posterity.  

As Tran Thi Thanh Thuy and other fellow sketchers take to the streets to draw, first college students, then children sent by parents and now people of all ages and from all walks of life are joining them.

Sketching artists, love for Hanoi,  Hanoi lovers,  precious images, Urban Sketchers Hanoi’, cultural heritage

Artyan Trihandono from Indonesia takes part in the Asia-Link Sketchwalk in Hanoi.

The group, called Urban Sketchers Hanoi, draw the capital with passion, day and night, especially at night when Hanoi looks even more beautiful to some eyes.

And as the sketchers sit down to work, sometimes locals come out to look at their pictures and feel surprised.

Thuy recalled the typical reaction of first-time viewers of the sketchers’ works at the recent release of Urban Sketchers Hanoi’s second major book titled "Hanoi’s Old Quarter - Sketches and Memories".

For the past three years through its skillful sketches of Hanoi’s cultural heritage, Thuy’s group has been able to create love for the city, enthusiasm for art and a sense of friendship and community among people.

Sketching artists, love for Hanoi,  Hanoi lovers,  precious images, Urban Sketchers Hanoi’, cultural heritage

A work by Australian sketcher Lionel King taking part in the recent Asia-Link Sketchwalk in Hanoi.

Xuan Hien, 62, who is a very active member of the group, says though she has been living in the old quarter for many years, she never saw any extraordinary beauty in it until she became a sketcher and looked at it with new eyes.

From four members initially, Urban Sketchers Hanoi has attracted about 4,600 followers on Facebook. Over 100 people actively take part in sketching activities. Active participants include everyone from school children who learn drawing to retired elders who are learning how to sketch for the first time.

The group now organizes Sunday afternoon sketching sessions and annual exhibitions and publishes books that combine sketches and essays.

Its latest book, a bilingual Vietnamese-English collection about the old quarter has just been published by Kim Dong Publishing House and will make an appearance at the 2019 Frankfurt Book Fair in Germany.

Sketching artists, love for Hanoi,  Hanoi lovers,  precious images, Urban Sketchers Hanoi’, cultural heritage

Sketches from the 2019 Asia-Link Sketchwalk in Hanoi exhibited around Hoan Kiem Lake.

An earlier book features another important architectural and cultural heritage of Hanoi that is fast disappearing and may be gone soon: Hanoi’s old Soviet-style apartment buildings.

For its efforts, Urban Sketchers Hanoi has been honored with this year’s Bui Xuan Phai Award. Bearing the name of the late painter Bui Xuan Phai, the annual prize honors people, works, ideas, and deeds that contribute to Hanoi’s culture and development.

Others in the same category to win the prize include the creation of the walking-only area around Hoan Kiem Lake every weekend and the public art on Phung Hung Street.

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Source: VnExpress

Sketching artists, love for Hanoi, Hanoi lovers, precious images, Urban Sketchers Hanoi’, cultural heritage
 
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