An art installation in Hai Phong has become the butt of jokes online.
You’ve probably seen them by now on your newsfeed: a set of 12 stone statues, each taking the form of one of Vietnam’s astrological sign animals. While the statues retain the heads of an animal in the local zodiac – from pig to snake to goat and many more – the rest of their body is that of a human, complete with genitalia. The sight of the bizarre art installation brings to mind a tribute to Classical Greek sculptures gone horribly wrong.
According to Tuoi Tre, these controversial sculptures are part of the Hon Dau Resort in Do Son District of Hai Phong. After a few scandalized tourists uploaded photos of the statues on Facebook on March 25th, netizens wasted no time in ridiculing the artworks.
“I took my kids there [the resort] once and was very embarrassed. I vowed to never return after seeing many visitors touching the private parts of the statues,” Hai Phong native Pham Thi Ngoc Linh shared in a comment. “Especially when there are many children around.”
A few female sculptures in the set now spot well-worn and polished breasts thanks to tourists repeatedly fondling them. According to Hoang Van Thien, the president of the resort’s management board, the contentious installation is placed in the “mini Da Lat” section of the compound.
Thieng added that the statues were the result of a creative camp organized by the board, featuring many artisans and famous sculptors. Eventually, artisan Tran Minh Tuan’s donated his zodiac statues – which took him three years to complete – to the resort as garden decorations. Each animal sculpture is 1.6 meters tall with a diameter of 50 centimeters.
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