Thong Nhat Park's Mirror House gets new look

Friday, 2017-10-27 15:15:14
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Painter Nguyen Thu Thuy stands in front of the almost-completed Mirror House. (Photo provided by painter Nguyen Thu Thuy)
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NDO – Painter Nguyen Thu Thuy, in co-ordination with artists Nguyen Hoang Tung and Bui Viet Doan, along with Tan Hanoi (New Hanoi) arts company, have brought a new look to the Mirror House in Thong Nhat (Reunification) Park following three months of work.

The Mirror House in Thong Nhat Park is a place closely related to the childhood memories of most 7x and 8x generations in Hanoi. The Mirror House, also known as the Smiley House, was built by the Czechoslovakian Government in 1979. The labyrinth of mirrors leads to a round room with eight deformed mirrors that make people laugh when they see their own reflections become tall with long or short legs, or stubby with a terrible waistline.

However, at present the place has become so dilapidated that it left almost no impression at all on the 9x generation. The Mirror House is seriously degraded: dull mirrors, peeling and moldy walls, and a leaking roof, and, in recent years, parents would not take their children to visit the Mirror House anymore.

Inside the Mirror House

According to the painter Thu Thuy, who is also responsible for the Ceramic Road along the Red River dyke in Hanoi, the Czechoslovakian architect that designed the house was inspired by a giant shell: the entrance was the mouth and the round spiral building with the maze leading into the innermost room is its shell. After seeing the architectural drawing of the mirror house, painter Thuy decided to bring the aquatic life into its architecture.

From the design of the shell-like walls with only two large windows and three openings for light and air, she formed the idea of decorating the Mirror House in the theme of the ocean to inspire a love for the sea and islands in children.

Painter Nguyen Thu Thuy works at the Mirror House

Ha Long Bay and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago are two ideas she has for the exterior of the Mirror House inspired from all the love and memories attached to Ha Long Bay - the natural heritage of the world – and her five working trips to Truong Sa archipelago, she shared.