Dozens of paintings made by five young autistic artists are on display in a Hanoi coffee shop.
Trung Hieu, the oldest of the five aged from 10 to 15, started by scribbling on the wall when he was five. Since then drawing has become the only way for him to connect with the outside world.
“Through his paintings, I can gauge his mood, know if he is happy or sad,” Hieu’s mother Nguyen Thi Mai Anh says.
Binh Minh, 11, chose another way to express his feelings.
“Wherever he sat down in the house, he would find a piece of paper and begin to tear it apart,” his mother recalls of his early years.
The boy later knew how to stick pieces of paper onto a frame and color them with oil paints.
“He also knows there is an exhibition,” his mother says referring to "Difference and Future", which is on at 24 Ly Quoc Su Street until May 31.
“He was glad though he did not understand and had to ask what an exhibition was.
“Then he seemed to take care of his artworks much more carefully. He used to do them and leave them on the floor. Now he puts them high on the table.
“He really likes to call them ‘works’.”
Well-known artist Le Thiet Cuong, who is curating the exhibition, says: "I see in every painting purity and happiness, which even normal people with a happy life cannot evoke. I believe you can also discover their beautiful souls and sensitive hearts when seeing their paintings."
He believes that such precious skills should be nourished to make them grow together with the owners.
An auction of the paintings will be held at the end of this month to raise money for the Fund for Art and Autistic Children.
A painting, inspired by Dong Ho folk paintings, by 12-year old Nguyen Gia Bao.
"Goat and cow" by Pham Binh Minh.
"A wolf on the mountain" by Pham Binh Minh, 11.
Visitors at the exhibition in Hanoi