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Saigon woman brings second life to discarded clothes by offering free art classes

Sunday, March 14, 2021, 14:42 GMT+7
Saigon woman brings second life to discarded clothes by offering free art classes
A student adorns her old jeans with daisy flower patterns at Nguyen Hai Kim's workshop in Phu Nhuan District, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Hoang An / Tuoi Tre

A businesswoman in Ho Chi Minh City has recently begun offering free art classes where local adults can transform their old clothing into homemade artworks.

With the goal of reducing the amount of old clothing that makes its way into local landfills, Nguyen Hai Kim, a resident of Phu Nhuan District, has opened an art playground where people can both relieve some stress and learn how to protect the environment.

Students attend a free art class at Nguyen Hai Kim's workshop in Phu Nhuan District, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Hoang An / Tuoi Tre

Painting on old fabric is a relatively obscure art form, according to Kim.

Though Kim’s class is free-of-charge, her art room is fully equipped with everything one needs to utterly express their creativity while transforming old clothing into completely new outfits.

A lecture intructs a student about textile art technique at Nguyen Hai Kim's workshop in Phu Nhuan District, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Hoang An / Tuoi Tre

An instructor shows a student textile art techniques at Nguyen Hai Kim's workshop in Phu Nhuan District, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Hoang An / Tuoi Tre

“This art form is not yet well known, but I hope its usefulness will popularize it in the community," Kim told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.

"There are many passionate art lovers willing to spend large amounts of money on basic drawing classes, but I expect that offering this class for free will share a passion for art with a wider audience.”

Kim has students of all ages and backgrounds, but they all have one thing in common: a love of art.

A student decorates an old T-shirt with Dong Ho folk painting pattern at Nguyen Hai Kim's workshop in Phu Nhuan District, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Hoang An / Tuoi Tre

A student decorates an old T-shirt with Dong Ho folk painting patterns at Nguyen Hai Kim's workshop in Phu Nhuan District, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Hoang An / Tuoi Tre

Thanks to Kim’s technique of redecorating old fabrics with familiar designs and traditional Vietnamese folk paintings, such as Dong Ho and Trong Dong bronze drum patterns, more and more Vietnamese are able to reconnect with their heritage.

“I’m an art teacher and I really love painting, but there’s really no place in my hometown for me to practice," said Pham Thi Anh Thu.

"When I learned of this class, I traveled here all the way from my home in Vinh Long Province [in the Mekong Delta] to try it out. 

"It was pretty difficult to get here, but so worth it for the experience.”

A canvas after being redecorated is seen in the photo at Nguyen Hai Kim's workshop in Phu Nhuan District, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Hoang An / Tuoi Tre

A canvas after being redecorated is pictured at Nguyen Hai Kim's workshop in Phu Nhuan District, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Hoang An / Tuoi Tre

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Linh To - Hoang An / Tuoi Tre News

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