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heydays with hanna is a commemoration of travel memoirs, design musings, photographs, and personal reflections. I hope to be able to encourage you all to embrace everything about the mundane and extraordinary days.
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14 Phan Huy Ích, Nguyễn Trung Trực, Ba Đình, Hà Nội, Vietnam

HANOI: COOLING DOWN AT THE MANZI ART SPACE

There are a lot of things to explore in Hanoi if only you choose to go beyond the things commonly listed down on travel blogs and websites. I myself got surprised how much art and specialty spaces Hanoi has because we rarely read or hear about it. But if you wish to slow things down and stay longer in this small yet richly diverse side of Vietnam, I highly suggest that you explore the small cafes, galleries, and alleys that have yet to be discovered.

It was after our long walk around Phan Dinh Phung that we decided to get some shelter from the summer heat and rest from the long day that we had around Hanoi. I remembered that there was a space I listed down in our itinerary that was just around the area, that being Manzi.
Manzi Art Space sits along the quiet stretch of Phan Huy Ích. One would not quickly notice it as it is tucked inside a charmingly ragged fence and lush bamboo trees. It could be the day or the hour that we visited but we noticed that compared to the other cafes located near tourist spots, Manzi is pretty serene and could serve as a safe haven for those who are seeking some quiet time away from the noise of the Old quarter.
I also loved this little detail at the entrance of the cafe where people can just exchange books. If only I can read Vietnamese and I had a book to space, I would have taken one home for myself as well!
Unlike most vibrant Hanoian shophouses, Manzi embraces a more minimalist color scheme yet still balancing things off by keeping the existing Indochine architectural elements and the tropical landscape found in almost every Hanoian building or home.
I truly love the details of the ironwork of the main door. It serves as a focal point and becomes an additional statement piece to the place.
Like most gallery spaces and museums, Manzi's interior walls and ceiling are painted white while the large paned windows aid the space by providing natural light. Although minimally contemporized, Manzi's interior still very much celebrates the electric marriage between Western and Southeast Asian design elements. Two Corinthian columns stand as both a spatial division and highlight to space while tropical wooden furniture is used to contrast the light and minimal interior envelope.
While exploring the space, we were welcomed by one of the gallery assistants and informed us of the upcoming opening of an Exhibit by a Vietnamese visual artist Quách Bắc. The assistant was kind enough to give us an invite and asked us to go back the next day for the opening but sadly that was also the same day that we were leaving Hanoi. Upon hearing this, she was very kind enough to allow me to go upstairs and view the artworks being displayed as well.
 Being a restored space, the wooden stairs leading to the second floor of the cafe/gallery was a bit delicate and we were asked to be a bit gentle and careful with our steps. I truly love this particular image as it is a perfect visual representation of combining modern and traditional elements into space. As an Interior Designer, I really appreciate small design gestures like this because it makes a visual impact on people who see it and serve as a learning experience as well.
This is the second-floor common space and gallery where one could find a variety of artworks on exhibition. This made me appreciate Manzi more as I learned that one of their main points for existing since 2012 is to promote and support the contemporary art community in Hanoi. I also learned that the word Manzi was derived from the northern Vietnamese word Man Di, which means wild and free.
The featured artist at the time of our visit was Quách Bắc and his exhibit was called 'Falling into the Horizon'. I would consider this site-specific installation on the second floor of the cafe as his main piece. Entitled 'Valse' or waltz in French, I read that this particular installation represents the dark past that is forever sitting in the minds of Vietnamese people. Tiny white statues of the same figure in marching or walking stance were placed on different areas around the enclosed space.
Small oil paintings of Bắc were also installed around the walls of the cafe/gallery. The artworks are visual representations of Bắc's semi-satiric view on human living conditions and society in general. As someone who appreciates art in general, I truly admire the artist's thought-provoking themes in his artworks and at the same time, the high level of quality and detail put in each artwork.
Aside from the cooling comfort, we enjoyed while resting in Manzi, it gave me also some sense of delight to be able to see art made by artists from other cultures. While most people might disagree, contemporary art and its practitioners go through so much thought invoking process to be able to channel their message to their viewers. That is after all the very foundation of the movement, to make people wonder, question, and think - driving them to also create their own meaning according to their experience and frame of thought.
There are so many things to see and learn from and they sometimes come from unexpected places and experiences. This is definitely one of the gifts we receive from traveling and observing. The only thing needed for you to fully enjoy this is to have an open mind and a whole bunch of curiosity!

Happy Heyday!
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Manzi Art Space
14 Phan Huy Ich, Hanoi
Tel: (024) 3716 3397
Opening hours: 8 am – 10.30 pm everyday
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Heydays in Hanoi

Comments

  1. oh such a beautiful gallery plus the free book locket at the entrance is always a good idea(:

    Cate ☾ 35mm in Style | Photography + Blogging

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Cate!

      It is definitely a great idea to promote interaction and reading at the same time.

      Thank you for stopping by! I love your blog!

      Cheers,
      Hanna

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  2. Beautiful photos!

    Shelley x

    www.onlyshelley.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Shelley! Thank you very much. Your brownie recipe just made me crave for one! Maybe I should try making one this coming week ;)

      Stay safe!

      Cheers,
      Hanna

      Delete
  3. It looks like an interesting place to visit. Thanks for sharing :) BTW, I like your blog's clean and minimalist layout. - Dan "Jay" Reyes

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey, Jay!

      Thank you so much for taking time to read and visit the blog. I truly appreciate it. It is indeed one of my favorite discoveries!

      I hope you are feeling healthy despite this whole situation we are all in. Take care!

      Cheers,
      Hanna

      Delete
  4. Ahhh I love these pictures! The Manzi art space truly seems like it would be a day of simple enjoyment.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you very much! I wish I got you name so I can address you properly, but I truly appreciate the time you put in to read this entry. Manzi is indeed a space for those who are seeking for some personal or alone time!

      Take care!
      Hanna

      Delete
  5. Very pretty place with lots of greenery
    and artistic atmosphere..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Gabi!

      It is indeed pretty. It's one of those places that serve as an inspiration for those who are also looking into redecorating their own homes or spaces. I hope you are doing well!

      Cheers,
      Hanna

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  6. Ah very inspiring and fun what a great art space, thanks for posting :)

    Allie of
    www.allienyc.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Allie!

      Thank you so much for taking time to read the entry. I appreciate it!

      I hope you are doing well and feeling healthy back there in NYC!

      Cheers,
      Hanna

      Delete

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