VietNamNet Bridge – In the last 15 years, the village of Ham Long in District 2, with charming landscape, has become the home to many Saigon artists.
Watercolor painter Ly Khac Nhu – one of the founder of Ham Long Village – talks with visitors.
“It’s great that amid a big city, a valuable art space like this is still preserved. I feel this is the pride of Vietnam,” a Taiwanese tourist said. The tourist said that this was his second visit to the village, this time with his family.
The village was built 15 years ago by a group of Saigon painters.In late ’90s, a group of artists, mostly painters wandered to find a quiet, beautiful place to work. A wide strip of land along the bank of the Saigon River, in Thanh My Loi ward, District 2, HCM City, held their feet by its romantic and wild beauty. Late painter Nguyen Thanh Chau named it Ham Long (Dragon Jaw) based on the shape of the land.
Watercolor painter Ly Khac Nhu – one of the founder of Ham Long Village – recalled: “Initially, I just dug a pond to breed fish and built a tent here, as a place to work. Gradually I loved the quiet and fresh space in this place so I moved my family here.”
After Nhu, many other artists bought land to build their houses in this land because they all love the atmosphere and the landscape here. After 15 years, this desert land has become Ham Long Village, the home to over 40 painters of Saigon.
Each artist contributes a unique style to the village. On the strip of land of less than 10 hectares, the artists have created a unique cultural space featuring houses of the three regions in Vietnam: North – Central – South. Each house has a different style, including stilt houses and charnel-houses of the Central Highlands.The village of artists has its own rules to maintain its style and peace.
Compared with 15 years ago, the artist village has changed a lot. The 15-year journey is relentless efforts to create a diverse cultural space but imbued with national identity in the heart of Saigon. Across the river is the city center with high-rise skyscrapers… On this bank, a miniature village is nestled.
Since the late ’90s, many artists gathered in Thanh My Loi Ward, District 2, Ho Chi Minh City to create their world – Ham Long village
The houses in the village are built under common rules, for example, houses are separated by fences but the fences must be made of trees or flowers or houses must not be high-storey, etc.
Houses in the village are of different styles.
The romantic and peaceful scenery here is the inspiration for many artists.Not many people in Ho Chi Minh City know this place. Located in the heart of Saigon, Ham Long looks like a rural village.
Sculptural works in the house of artist Ly Khac Nhu.
The space for work.
A son tree from Phu Tho province. Resin of this tree is used to make lacquer paintings.
A house in the old style of northern region.
The village’s gallery.
A Muong-styled house of artist Bach Truong Son.
A corner of Ky Long Garden, which is designed as a miniature village of Vietnam.
Adjacent to the Ky Long garden is the Hue-styled garden of painter Hoai Huong. “Half of me is Hue. I love Hue and I thought why I don’t create a miniature Hue in the heart of Saigon like this,” the famous artist for oil paintings shared.A Hue-styled corner of artist Hoai Huong.
The Hue-styled house of artist Hoai Huong.
The original purpose of the artists is to create an ideal space for working. But gradually the unique, interesting village has attracted the attention of many people. Visitors can come here without having to buy an entrance ticket.
Written by VIETNAMNET, AUGUST 27, 2013
( Please be advised all visitors have been booked at least 2 days notice . Services charge will be added by $5 usd per person )