FOREWORD
"Project Ålidhem" Ingo Vetter and Peter Lundström

"I like Umeå and Umeå likes me" Lasse Sahlin

"An Important Part of our Education" Students’ Foreword

ART WORK
Ylva Trapp

Frida Krohn
Therese Johansson
Lars Hedelin
Frida Krohn, Ylva Trapp
och Lina Palmqvist

Nguyen Thi Bich Thuy

Per-Arne Sträng
Martina Wolgast
Mariel Rosendahl
Nils-Johan Sjöquist

Chronology
Map

CONTEXT
"The History of Ålidhem" Hans Åkerlind
"My own private Ålidhem" Maria Bjurestam
"Functional Sculpturer" Ingo Vetter

Presentation of Participants
Sponsor

Svenska

Nguygen Thi Bich Thuy
The trees of Ålidhem

I remember when we went to Ålidhem for the first time, it was a snow-storming winter day. It was strange to me but at the same time a familiar feeling arose - as if I had been in this place before. In fact, the architecture of this area reminded me of the area where I grew up in Vietnam. It is called Socio-Communism architecture, a style that was popular during the 1960s-70s. I saw this kind of architecture in many areas in Moscow and some parts of East Berlin. It brought up both good and not so good memories. It is monotone and I was not inspired at all after my first visit to Ålidhem.

However, the term “public art” made me curious because in Vietnam public art means historical monuments and I did not have any other experiences of it. On the other hand, it was something new to try. I continued visiting Ålidhem, and my first negative impression gradually disappeared. I felt better about it and the area seemed familiar because it is crowded and international while other parts of Umeå are quiet and more homogenous.

I became more and more excited and my visits to Ålidhem inspired several ideas, but I did not have any experience of working with public art. One thing was clear to me, however, I would love to put more colour into the area, in the form of mural paintings - one big utopian-surrealist mural that covers an entire wall, perhaps? The first sketches did not please me. It was autumn 2007, when the all the leaves become yellow and start covering the ground. The image of a tree came into my mind. I have been working with this symbol for years; it is not only a tree but also human, with all of the human spirits. The tree could be a human being, it could be one’s memory; it could be a human life. Ålidhem is an international residential district where people come and go every year. Human beings come and go, but trees stay.

The monotone-shaped architecture of the buildings made me think about a series of different trees on the buildings - not to cover the whole wall but possibly full-size nevertheless. My trees are so different in spirit and I think they are in accord with the international atmosphere of Ålidhem. I was asked why I wanted to bring my images of trees from an indoor to an outdoor situation. It was a tough question. Some art can be both small scale and large scale. Why cannot an art piece transfer from indoors to outdoors? My images of trees are not realistic; they are more symbolic and can be made in different scales, both large and small. They can mirror real trees in summer and in winter.

Enamel is a very appropriate material for outdoor painting. It is fascinating to see the images realized on the walls. But I think 6 pieces, 90 x 90 cm, are too small for the wall and the entire space and I would prefer that they appear on several buildings or in a series, as in my original idea. The art work would be more impressive and stay in the memory of people who live and have lived in Ålidhem. It is my dream to see that realized in 10 years time.