Have you ever been so touched to see the light?
It was a strange day in life that I went to those events for work. The day was full of lights.
1. The first one called The Adventure of Color Wheel, which was a public artwork launched at HCM Eye Hospital, Pediatrics Department. Three artists who are members of the Art Labor collective have spent over six months at the hospital to teach the kids how to draw and play with colors creatively.
The kids are young patients who are going through eye treatments and surgeries. Some of them can’t see with both eyes. Some of them have color blindness and can’t recognize red and blue. Some of them are even losing their sight altogether.
The project was to re-design the interior of the Pediatrics Department, including mural paintings, drawings, signs, billboards, and furniture. I saw the letter E, in lines, rotating overhead like abstract paintings, yet they are in fact eye vision tests. I saw various mural paintings of thousands of colored circles on the corridor’s ceiling. I saw brightly painted landscapes of another imagined dance across the room’s wall.
And when I walked to the end of the corridor, my eyes were caught by a little boy who was sitting on a small chair looking to the sky. His left eye was covered with a wound dressing. The sunlight came creeping his face, playing with his hair and dancing around him. I couldn’t take my eyes off him. He had a silent smile.
I loved that moment and that sunlight. Though the darkness might become someone’s future, this light right here and now is truly magical. Let it fill your heart with hope and love, my Beard!
“Turn your face to the Sun, and all the shadows fall behind you”
2. Leaving the hospital, I went to a visual show called Nón lá Poetry by Theoriz Crew from Lyon, France. Do you know what Nón lá is?
Well, it’s the Vietnamese traditional conical hat, which is made of latanier-braided leaves. Thanks to its shape and efficiency against the sunlight, it is still very common to see it on peasants and ladies heads nowadays. But in certain regions of Vietnam, like Hue city, there’s always a poem written inside the hat that is revealed by the rays of the sun. More than just a hat, it has become a traditional and romantic Vietnamese symbol.
And the show recreated that sunlight with 3D video mapping, lighting effects and traditional music, able to unveil the inner poetry hidden within these hats. The public was invited to stop or roam and enjoy this both contemplative and energetic performance.
It was a touching experience, sent me back to a recent past, connoting a peaceful and serene old world, where I’ve seen my mother wearing nón lá at the fish market every morning, selling her fish with her radiant smile and the sunlight dancing around her. I loved that moment and that sunlight. Let the sunshine into your soul, and you will see your brightest memories, even if they happened on the darkest days.
“Light is always more beautiful when it has to fight to be noticed, like sunlight fighting through the clouds after a rainstorm” – Nick Miller
At the end of that day, I went home and wrote two stories about the light. Both were in my newspaper the next day with good viewer ratings. I feel so grateful to be able to see the sunlight every day, even if it’s too strong in Saigon sometimes.
Here comes the sun, and I’d say everything is going to be all alright, Beard!