An American artist in great love with Vietnam's moutainous areas
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|With his love for Vietnam, Alex Hagendorf has moved from the US to Cao Bang to live and work (Photo: Thoi Dai)
Born and raised in Pennsylvania, Eastern US, Alex was an avid traveler. He has traveled to many corners around the world and experienced the different lands his own ways by sketching out paintings about local landscapes and people. Vietnam is one of those places.
Alex grew fonds of Vietnam after watching a video about Vietnam on Youtube. “There’s something strange continuously pushing me to go discovering the S-shaped country. Then I decided to fly halfway around the world to visit Vietnam in 2018”, Alex told Thoi Dai.
The American artist hired a motorbike to drive himself all the way from Hanoi to Ha Giang and Cao Bang on his first time in Vietnam. The bustling streets, stunning natural beauty of the highlands and countless beautiful scenes and indigenous cultural identities made Alex want to discover more about the country.
In 2019, he flew to Vietnam for the second time, continued his journey to visit Hai Phong, Ha Long, Lang Son and Cao Bang. Upon his third arrival in Vietnam, however, Alex decided to stay in the northern province of Cao Bang to live and work.
|Drawing is one of Alex's hobby (Photo: Thoi Dai)
“Cao Bang is awesome! I love the green color of nature, the tranquility of the rural villages. Breathing in the fresh air here makes me feel so much happier and relaxed. That’s why I chose this place to settle down. I want to live here for the rest of my life.”, Alex told Thoi Dai.
“My parents certainly like me living in the US but they are supportive of me no matter where I live, as long as I am happy”, he added.
Along with his love for Vietnam’s landscapes, culture and people, Alex is also really interrested in the Vietnamese language and learns the language quickly. It only took him 9 months to learn the basic rules, including 3 months of learning in the US and another 6 months in Hanoi. He gradually picks up the language during his travel and now, the American travel lover can speak Vietnamese freely.
Alex is now living in a small house on the outskirt of Cao Bang city. He drives his motorbike around the villages after knocking off from the English teaching class every week. “It’s an ideal way to experience the rich lifestyle of local people, and to draw out the landscapes, you know, drawing is one of my hobbies”, he said.
Among Alex’s paintings, there are nearly 20 oil paintings of Ban Gioc waterfall, Que Son river, Mat Than mountain, Xuan Truong commune (Bao Lac) ... all of which capture the peaceful green color of the earth, the sky, the mountain, river, and trees. Everyone would admire such a simple, rustic and beautiful countryside no matter where they are from.
Alex also has many paintings drawing out other places in Vietnam.
|Drawing is one of Alex's hobby
|Drawing is one of Alex's hobby
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