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Brand positioning of Hanoi as regional creative city
Jenna Duong 22:18, 2023/11/29
The Hanoi Creative Design Festival 2023 has ignited an innovative spirit and spread it among creatives and the community, contributing to positioning the brand of Hanoi - Creative City.

Hanoi's buzzing annual creative and cultural event has ended after 12 lively days at the Gia Lam Train Factory and newly developed heritage sites.

Using heritage resources for creativity

 The Hanoi Creative Design Festival 2023 takes place from November 17 to 28. Photo: Huy Pham/The Hanoi Times

With the theme "Flow", the festival realized Hanoi City's policy of utilizing cultural resources for the sustainable socio-economic development of the capital. Its events and activities all bear the cultural imprint of the capital from a creative perspective, while Gia Lam Railway Factory, Hang Dau Water Tower and Long Bien Bridge, all industrial and urban heritage, were awakened after a long period of oblivion. A fresh look filled with cultural and artistic colors, while arranged in a creative way, left the public in awe.

Artist Trinh Minh Tien's exhibition titled Water Palace at Gia Lam Train Factory.

Artist Nguyen Duc Phuong, a designer of the water and light arrangement inside the Hang Dau Water Tower, said: "Through this project, I hope the public will be aware of the heritage and contribute to its conservation. Although life changes over time, heritage still has core values. I also hope that young people will have a different view and approach to art and gradually create values for the community. More art spaces should be developed from such heritage sites.

The art activities and public performances at the Gia Lam Train Factory were a creative blend of tradition and modernity. The art and craft fair was a gathering place for young people pursuing creative careers with their unique identities, as well as creative groups, creative spaces, and artisans from traditional craft villages.

It was an open playground that stimulated creativity in everyone. In particular, the Heritage Journey train connecting the two banks of the  Red River was a highlight of the festival, pulling in a large number of locals and tourists for the experience.

Spreading a creative spirit

A Tuong performance on Nov 17 kicks off the Hanoi Creative Design Festival 2023.   

After 12 days, the Hanoi Creative Design Festival 2023 has left a lasting impact on the community, inspiring organizations and individuals from all walks of life with a creative spirit. Large crowds of Hanoians, as well as international and domestic tourists, were enthralled by the originality and novelty of the organizational spaces, activities, and events though the venues were quite far from the city center.

According to the organizing board, the festival welcomed 200,000 visitors to the Gia Lam Train Factory and 30,000 to the Hang Dau Water Tower. At the same time, it also received the contributions of 2,000 content creators and four million comments on social networks. Meanwhile, up to 26,000 Heritage Journey train tickets were sold during the 12 days of the festival. However, the number still fell short of tourist demand.

The graffiti artworks on display at the Gia Lam Train Factory. 

In addition to the Heritage Journey, other activities included the hands-on art course for needy children entitled "Exploring the Flow" and the gong performance entitled "Improvising the Great Forest".

All in all, a creative spirit was spread throughout the city's districts and craft villages as more than 40 cultural, artistic, creative and innovative events were held with their participation.

Positioning the Creative City brand

Young attendees of the Hanoi Creative Design Festival 2023.

The festival is one of Hanoi's activities to realize its commitment to joining the UNESCO Creative Cities Network, confirming its pioneering position at the national level and following the international trend of creative economy. The festival also realizes Hanoi's policy of utilizing cultural resources and supporting the development of cultural industries.

In particular, the organization of the festival at the Gia Lam Train Factory opens up the direction of transforming vacant industrial facilities into creative spaces, as the policy of relocating production facilities out of the inner city has left behind industrial heritage with high potential waiting to be awakened.

As confirmed by Do Dinh Hong, Director of Hanoi's Department of Culture and Sports, the city aims to make the Hanoi Creative Design Festival an annual event on a Southeast Asian and international scale, serving as a highlight of the year to attract designers, businesses, and domestic and foreign tourists.

This year's iteration is the largest after three seasons, with 64 cultural and creative activities, including four architectural pavilions, 18 displays and exhibitions, 15 workshops and seminars - including five international workshops, nine art activities, 18 public creative activities. These events were held at Gia Lam Train Factory, Hang Dau Water Tower, Long Bien Railway Station and Gia Lam Railway Station, the main venues of the festival. Together, they attracted the participation of more than 200 units, creators and artists of all kinds in the fields of creative design.
"Awaken Heritage" fashion show at Gia Lam Train Factory. 
The light and water installation inside the Hang Dau Water Tower as part of the Hanoi Creative Design Festival 2023.

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