Notes 09 – a21gallery is written in 2 years (2019 – 2020). Each time visiting a21gallery, we talk with architect Nguyen Hoa Hiep and take more photos for our documentary. Once at his place, he called us in to photograph a corner which sunlight could only reach for about 2 weeks a year.
He said he wanted to change his home every 5 years. He builds and designs his own houses for his family, his office is there also so that he does not have to travel to work. Living in his own design, he can spot numerous issues, this is why the 5 years is a good amount of time for his and others’ endurance.
We usually stay in Hiep’s house everytime we visit Saigon because we are friends. Sometimes we stay for few days, other times for almost half a month at his old apartment, or for now it is a21gallery. After the ‘Door holders’ exhibition in 2018, we expressed our wish to write about a21gallery to archive the story of how this place comes to life. We write to remember. Life and time bare memories that we might forget.
This April marks the 5-year-staying of Hiep at a21gallery. Since last year, he has been finishing a new one for his family to move over. By this occasion, Notes represents a book about this construction with the idea growing in us in the past 5 years. The book consists of 5 chapters – some of our pick-up notes whenever Hiep talks about the house. Some small non-linear stories about time that somewhat reveal architect Nguyen Hoa Hiep’s standpoints, perspectives and approaches in architecture.
Size: 148 x 210 mm
Published: April 2022
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