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Inspiring artworks by special young Vietnamese artist

Inspiring artworks by special young Vietnamese artist

Thursday, March 23, 2023, 12:19 GMT+7
Inspiring artworks by special young Vietnamese artist
Tran Nam Long draws his sketch outside in Hanoi in a provided photo.

'Pho Xua He Cu' (Old Streets and Sidewalks) is the name of the solo exhibition in Hanoi that attracted the attention of many viewers because of the artist behind it: 18-year-old Tran Nam Long, who is hearing-impaired and suffers from severe attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

However, the artist's special status might not be the most important factor drawing people to the display.

Beyond that, there was a lot of affection in the artworks on display.

It was not only the unconditional love of Long's mother, but also the young artist's deep appreciation for life in his paintings, despite its many challenges.

Perfect technique to draw architecture

Exhibition visitors could also feel the mother's great attachment to the Vietnamese capital city, which gives her the opportunity to earn a living and raise a child.

In Hanoi, her son was supported so much that he grew from a young man with many deficiencies into who he is today.

There was another great love people had for Long's paintings.

At the opening ceremony on the evening of March 2, Long happily posed for photos with visitors and gave signatures in the exhibition catalogs.

A visitor looks at Nam Long's paintings on display at the exhibition. Photo: Thien Dieu / Tuoi Tre

A visitor looks at Tran Nam Long's paintings on display at the exhibition in Hanoi in March 2023. Photo: Thien Dieu / Tuoi Tre

Although there were so many compliments, Long could not hear them. He did not seem to take note of them.

Experienced artist Do Duc was amazed when he saw Long's sketches of architectural buildings.

Do Duc believes that although the emotional impression left by Long is not on a par with that left by the technique of drawing, the young artist's ability to draw can win over the hearts and minds of everyone.

The young artist's ability to observe and express himself like an architect is difficult for anyone learning to draw.

Moreover, Long's talent is not only a technical skill, but also the harbinger of a creative ability.

Long's sketches surprise many people because of the detailed depictions.

Tran Nam Long's sketches surprised many people because of the detailed depictions.

Everyone has their own feelings when looking at Long's paintings. While some are taken aback by the 'excellent technique of architectural drawings,' as artist Le The Anh comments, others are struck by the familiar beauty in his paintings.

However, what many adore most about his artwork is that the young artist appreciates everything he puts into his oeuvre.

Long enjoys everything: small stones on train tracks in Hanoi, flowers falling down quiet alleys, a few pineapples in a vendor's basket, a few pieces of lean pork paste displayed in a woman's glass box.

Such simple things seem to reflect the peaceful thoughts of an 18-year-old whose mind is childlike.

Long pays so much attention to trivial things that are often neglected by 'ordinary' people because they are too busy and do not have enough patience to look at them.

Peace and purity are perhaps the things that many people today would like to look for in the midst of chaotic and hectic lives.

So, it is no coincidence that his paintings have captured the attention of so many people. They relish them not merely because of their enjoyment and admiration for the young artist's strong will and perseverance.

Long enjoys painting and he is good at drawing old architectural buildings in the capital city, where he can focus on refined details with skillful technique. He has a special passion for trees as well.

Trees and flowers are everywhere in his paintings. Among them are a tree without leaves standing in front of a house on a street, ancient trees covering the old mansions in their shade, trees, bushes or small flowers hanging around the balconies like 'bird cages' or 'tiger cages' in the old-school social housing.

Trees always exude an exciting and energetic mood in Long's paintings. They look like a charming bow hanging on the wall for a long time covered with moss.

Nam Long and his mother pose for a photo at the exhibition in March 2023. Photo: Thien Dieu / Tuoi Tre

Tran Nam Long and his mother pose for a photo at the exhibition in Hanoi in March 2023. Photo: Thien Dieu / Tuoi Tre

If one loves life...

Long's parents work as migrant workers in Hanoi. Like other people who find themselves in the same situation, his family moves back and forth between different accommodations for workers in the city.

At the age of one, Long suffered hearing loss after a serious illness. To make matters worse, a few years later his parents learned that Long had been diagnosed with severe hyperactive syndrome.

The boy also had great difficulty moving around and had to endure many surgeries on his legs.

Those challenges did not stop there, however. When Long was 11 years old, his father died unexpectedly as a result of an accident.

His mother, Phung Hieu, struggled like a sparrow with broken wings in the rain, trying her best to provide for the unfortunate children.

Long's drawing on display at the exhibition

Tran Nam Long's drawing on display at the exhibition in Hanoi in March 2023

Long's drawing on display at the exhibition

Tran Nam Long's drawing on display at the exhibition in Hanoi in March 2023

Long's drawing on display at the exhibition

Tran Nam Long's drawing on display at the exhibition in Hanoi in March 2023

During those fateful days, many people advised Phung Hieu to take the children to their hometown in the countryside for an easier life.

Considering her son's health condition, which requires good conditions for him to be taken care of and raised, the mother decided to stay in Hanoi.

Phung Hieu rented an apartment as a shelter and made ends meet with a limited income as a housemaid, as that was the only job she could do so that she had some time left to care for her son.

Over the past 18 years, the mother has overcome many arduous obstacles just to save her son. She learned sign language to be able to communicate with him.

Knowing her son liking for drawing, she searched for a drawing teacher willing to teach a hearing-impaired student.

In the first few years of bringing her son to the drawing class, she had to be a student herself to help Long communicate with the teacher.

It is the mother's unconditional and boundless love for her son that has touched the hearts of so many people.

In an emotional voice, Phung Hieu told the story of a woman who helped pay Long's tuition during his elementary school years.

She talked about a young artist who had never taught anyone to draw, but agreed to teach Long for free in the early years because he had a great affection for her disabled son and admired the strong woman's endearment for him.

And when she decided to hold an exhibition for Long, she got so much help, both from acquaintances and even people she did not know.

The mother said she was incredibly happy that her son was able to become who he is now.

"My son is loved because of his disadvantages, but to my mind, he is tremendously cheerful to be a person who can live forever in his naivety and pure life like a child," Phung Hieu said.

According to her, she herself has learned a lot to overcome the hardships she faces in such a dire situation.

The more people admire the young man's talent, the more they do his persistent mother when it comes to Long's story.

It is the resilient mother who teaches her son a priceless lesson: if one loves life, life will return it to them with enthusiasm.

A tribute to so many nice people

According to Phung Hieu, she organized the exhibition for her son after several years of preparation.

She thanked the city that helped them in their hour of need as well as the kindness of so many people who stood by them in the most difficult moments.

Currently, Long has a more comfortable life.

He is studying at the Center for Development Support - Inclusive Education under the Hanoi National University of Education.

Many people have bought Long's paintings. His mother continues to work as a domestic helper in the afternoons to have time to take care of her children.

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Thien Dieu - Kim Thoa / Tuoi Tre News

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