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Buried Beneath Hanoi’s Hustle: House of Moments by Nguyen Si Kha

Hanoi, Vietnam’s ancient capital, is a city of whispers and secrets. Its crumbling alleyways echo with tales of the past, its hidden courtyards harboring untold stories. It’s within this tapestry of time and memory that artist Nguyen Si Kha has woven his enigmatic creation: the “House of Moments.”

More than just an art installation, the “House of Moments” is an experience. It’s a labyrinthine journey through a dilapidated Hanoi building, where time seems to stand still, and shadows dance with forgotten dreams. Prepare to shed your preconceptions and embrace the unexpected, for within these decaying walls lies a symphony of senses waiting to be awakened.

A Facade of Layers

Stepping through the unassuming entrance, you’re greeted by the building’s weathered facade. Layers of peeling paint tell tales of years gone by, each crack and crevice a testament to the city’s resilience. Murals peek through the peeling layers, hinting at the hidden beauty within. This is no ordinary structure; it’s a living, breathing portal to another realm.

Descending into Darkness

As you cross the threshold, the sunlight fades, replaced by an enveloping darkness. The air hums with a quiet anticipation, urging you forward. Each step on the creaking stairs echoes through the silence, a deliberate punctuation in the hushed anticipation. The dim light casts long, dramatic shadows, transforming the mundane into the magical.

Whispers of Memory

The first room you encounter is a stark reminder of the building’s past life. Furniture shrouded in white sheets evokes the ghosts of former residents, their laughter and whispers lingering in the air. Objects, frozen in time, tell their own stories: a faded photograph tucked under a pillow, a half-read book splayed open on a desk. These silent witnesses invite you to piece together the fragments of a forgotten narrative.

The Buried Wave

The heart of the installation lies in the central chamber, named “The Buried Wave.” A vast canvas dominates the space, its swirling blues and greens capturing the raw power of the ocean. But this is no ordinary seascape. Beneath the surface, Nguyen Si Kha has woven a tapestry of memories, anxieties, and dreams. Faces emerge from the depths, their expressions conveying a spectrum of emotions. It’s a visual vortex that draws you in, inviting you to confront your own inner tides.

Echoes of Resistance

Throughout the installation, you’ll encounter subtle acts of defiance. Nguyen Si Kha has repurposed everyday objects, transforming them into symbols of artistic rebellion. A cracked mirror reflects a distorted reality, questioning our perception of truth. Barbed wire, woven into delicate tapestries, speaks of the power of vulnerability. These quiet subversions challenge established norms, urging you to see the world through new eyes.

A Symphony of Senses

The “House of Moments” is not just a visual experience. Soundscapes composed of dripping water, creaking floorboards, and distant street noises create an immersive sonic environment. The scent of damp earth and old wood mingles with the faint aroma of incense, adding another layer of sensory intrigue. Every element conspires to pull you deeper into the artist’s universe, where reality and imagination seamlessly intertwine.

Emerging from the Shadows

As you navigate the final stretch of the installation, a shaft of sunlight pierces through the gloom. It’s a beacon of hope, signaling the end of your journey. Stepping back into the bustling Hanoi streets, you’re irrevocably changed. The city appears brighter, the sounds sharper, the colors more vibrant. The “House of Moments” has awakened a new awareness within you, a sensitivity to the beauty and fragility hidden beneath the surface of everyday life.


The “House of Moments” is not merely an artistic showcase; it’s a transformative experience that lingers long after you leave its shadows. It’s a testament to the power of art to unearth hidden stories, challenge perspectives, and awaken personal reflections. As you carry the echoes of Nguyen Si Kha’s vision into the Hanoi streets, you become a participant in the city’s ongoing narrative, your own moments forever intertwined with the “House of Moments.”


1. Where is the “House of Moments” located?

The House of Moments was a temporary installation located in Hanoi, Vietnam. It ran from October 2022 to January 2023. Nguyen Si Kha’s work is often itinerant, so future installations may occur in different locations. You can follow the artist on social media or visit his website for updates on upcoming projects.

2. What inspired Nguyen Si Kha to create the “House of Moments”?

Nguyen Si Kha has spoken about his fascination with Hanoi’s hidden narratives and forgotten spaces. He saw the decaying building as a canvas for storytelling, a way to give voice to the city’s unspoken memories. The installation also touches on themes of transience, resilience, and the human connection to place.

3. Is the “House of Moments” accessible for everyone?

The installation involved navigating narrow staircases and dimly lit spaces. While there was no age restriction, it might not be suitable for everyone, especially individuals with mobility limitations or claustrophobia.

4. How can I learn more about Nguyen Si Kha and his work?

You can find information about Nguyen Si Kha and his other projects on his website: https://nguyensikha.com/

5. Is there anything I can do to support the artist and his work?

Nguyen Si Kha’s work is often community-driven and relies on collaborations and partnerships. You can stay updated on his future projects and potentially volunteer or contribute to initiatives he supports through his website or social media channels.

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