Pop Culture Remnants And The Disappearance Of Vintage Signs In Vietnam

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    Interiors Interiors Apr 21, 2017 02:57 PM EDT


    Vietnam has seen tremendous urban changes especially in Saigon since the 20th century, revolving from colonial, then communist, into a dynamic modern metropolis. This has left some pop culture remnants of Vietnam in a state of struggle.

    One pop culture remnant is the Vinh Loi's watch repair shop in Cholon, Ho Chi Minh City's Chinatown. According to The Conversation, the shop still has remains of metal letters created around 1964, accompanying the outline of dirt and blackened drill holes on the storefront, that are partly stolen.

    A golden row of Chinese characters on the back wall is also found inside the shop, spelled out "technology of watches and clocks". Installed nearly half a century ago, bilingual signs were common in the pop culture remnants area that was also home to Chinese settlers in the late 1700s.

    Phu Sy Hue, a community gym's first bodybuilding master, is another pop culture remnant. The community gym had a hand-painted placard for Arnold Schwarzenegger, a sign painted by one of its members, Tri.

    Although never a commercial signwriter, he was a practicing bodybuilder who had studied painting. An American tourist who encountered and got evidently impressed with the sign in the early 1990s, bought it immediately for a good deal to both parties. Today, signwriters, also the remnants of pop culture, are rarely found in Ho Chi Minh City compared to its nostalgia-inducing vintage signage.

    The interest in these vintage items reflects the power of celebrities, and the widespread influence of American pop culture. Now, since the fitness club's renovation in 2015, a charmless digitally printed sign now advertises the bodybuilding facilities, according to The World Post.

    The development of Ho Chi Minh City in the 21st century has definitely caused the disappearance of vintage signage among pop culture remnants of the past era. While many artists and historians debate over the preservation of these collections in museums, Vietnam continues to reflect the society's changing tastes.

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