VietNamNet Bridge - Japan and South Korea are the names of two new roads along West Lake, which have become hot addresses for Vietnam’s aspiring spray paint artists.
Walking along the dirt path behind the West Lake Water Park, through several lotus ponds, you arrive at Japanese Wharf.
The Japanese Wharf is an uncompleted new road but is impressively ornamented with hundreds of graffiti images, logos and words.
Near the Tay Ho Temple is a similar road named Korean Wharf which is also covered with the same artistic medium. Perhaps under the influence of Japanese and Korean series on Vietnamese TV channels, the youth have taken it upon themselves to name these roads and insist on their decision through their art.
On a cold winter afternoon, several couples choose Japanese Wharf as their dating destination. A group of four girls were tagging a heart onto a wall. They are Hue, Huyen, Tuyet and Huong, last-year students of the Insurance Faculty at the Hanoi National Economics University. The cans of spray paint they held were left behind by a young couple who used them to write “Celebrating one month in love. We will love each other more. 365 days in love with you.”
Along this road, one can see a lot of hearts, flowers, lips, eyes, faces, dogs, cats and thousands of love declarations like “Tuan misses Trang”, “I will love Thao for all my life”, “Quynh and Trung: love till death!” and anything else that can be written or drawn.
After hip-hop dance, graffiti was imported to Hanoi several years ago and is developing “brightly” on lamp-posts, electric-posts, bridges, streets, etc. However, the Japanese and Korean wharves are considered “heaven” by Hanoian taggers. These roads, before becoming Japanese and Korean wharves, quietly pass lotus ponds and dating sites for young couples. Nobody knows who initiated the graffiti campaign but it is rumored it was students from art universities in Hanoi.
A local man said when the first young people tagged this road, they were warned not to do so, but now the two roads are the most romantic in Hanoi.
Coming here to enjoy the fresh air, take in the view and spray paint the pavement has become a trend amongst the young. Old people and even foreigners also walk the path to see the thousands of decorative, new age artworks.