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 Graffitis by Vietnamese French artist expressing gratitude toward COVID-19 medics

14:32 | 17/05/2020

Paris-based artist Cyril Kongo had colored the COVID-19-stricken Lariboisière hospital with artful graffiti, saying the artworks are his token of gratitude to the brave first responders in the coronavirus combat. 

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Cyril Kongo hopes his this project brings colors, smiles, and love to the heroes (Photo:MOVE ON)

Cyril chose Lariboisière, one of the hardest-hit hospitals by COVID-19 in Paris, which recorded 170 medical staff tested positive for the novel coronavirus by April, as his studio.

Accordingly, he sprayed color paints on the hospital’s staircases, walls, pillars, and windows, VNE reported. 

“I’m super excited graffiting at Lariboisière hospital. It’s my token of gratitude towards those heroes sacrificing themselves to fight and protect the country. The artworks mean the world to me. Hopefully, this project would bring colors, smiles, and love to our heroes. Thank you for your devotion”, the graffiti artist wrote on his Instagram account.

vietnamese french artist graffitis to thank covid 19 medics
Cyril (M) takes photos with medics at Lariboisière hospital (Photo: MOVE ON)
vietnamese french artist graffitis to thank covid 19 medics
(Photo: MOVE ON)

To have all the graffiti done, Cyril and his partners had poured a great time, efforts and dedication. "People across Paris are opening their windows to cheer for the doctors and other COVID-19 frontline forces, which is a wonderful act. I myself also want to contribute something to encourage the medics who've been working relentlessly in the past two months", Cyril said.

vietnamese french artist graffitis to thank covid 19 medics
(Photo: MOVE ON)

"Mercy Raphy" is among the many messages Cyril graffitied around the hospital.

vietnamese french artist graffitis to thank covid 19 medics
Scaffolding is erected to paint high windows.(Photo: MOVE ON)

Cyril also held an online auction of his graffiti works at Lariboisière hospital, which was completed during the social distancing period. All proceeds are donated to the French Hospital Fund.

Lariboisière is one of the biggest public hospitals in Paris, located at District 10, home to a sizable working-class and immigrant population.

Cyril Kongo was called by Prestige as “A legendary self-made French Vietnamese artist”, and “one of the most outstanding faces in the graffiti world”.

vietnamese french artist graffitis to thank covid 19 medics

Cyril Kongo's imprint on the Hermès silk scarf (left) and the RM 68-01 Tourbillon (right) watch

(Photo: Cyril Kongo)

vietnamese french artist graffitis to thank covid 19 medics
Cyril had cooperated with the Caudron Simoun Aircraft Restoration Association in a non-profit project, restoring the Nord 1000 German military aircraft used during World War II. The aircraft was produced with the aircraft of Saint-Exupéry - the French pilot, writer famous for his work "Little Prince". (Photo: Isabelle Beauvais)
Cyril’s real name is Cyril Phan, born in 1969 in Sai Gon to a Vietnamese father and French mother. Two years after national reunification in 1975, he moved to the Democratic Republic of Congo with his mother, hence he took his artist name of Cyril Kongo.

Cyril started his graffiti career at the age of 18, after quitting school. He quickly rose to the peak of the street art world and was constantly invited to work with luxury fashion brands such as Chanel, Hermès, Richard Mille, Daum, etc.

He started to be recognized across Europe in 2009.

Cyril Kongo's work was inspired by Frescos wall painting, a method of painting water-based pigments on freshly applied plaster, such as trunks, bags, scarves, bottles, watches, cars, planes, etc. but the most popular one is wall surfaces.

Frescos wall paintings are usually spotted in labor quarters in Paris, top art exhibitions or haute couture.

He has made his signature imprints with Hermes scarves, Chanel Kongo backpacks, and Richarrd Mille limited edition watches. A Forbes article said that: "Kongo rewrites the codes of graffiti art and takes viewers where they least expected him". It estimated that Kongo's work sells today for approximately 15,000 euros per square meter.

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