The Schwarzenegger Hide and Seek is my book chapter in Advertising and Public Memory, published by Routledge. For this investigation, I found rare examples of hand-painted shop signs still visible in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, in the second decade of the 21st century. Visual research suggests that urban Vietnam had a strong body of hand-painted signs, even during war time, but few examples now survive in this country that has developed rapidly in recent decades. Hand-painted shop signs, adverts and propaganda have practically disappeared from the public space, overtaken by vast quantities of computer-generated signage commonly printed on plastic or vinyl.
The photos in the book are greyscale, but here you can admire the signs in full colour:
Hand painted sign for Chánh Nghia cake decorators, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Photo by Cristina Nualart, 2015
Hand painted sign (now gone) on body building club, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Photo by Cristina Nualart, 2011
As someone who is fascinated by the power of the object, especially the found object, from arte povera to material culture, my interest in hand painted signs is quite predictable. Stories of my first thrills in this field in Vietnam appear in this post from 2012: The last hand painted sign in Saigon.