Tag Archives: saigon

Accepting Commissions!

28 Apr

Now that I’m back home from my travels I will be accepting commissions for watercolors and  illustrations of your travel photos, memories or anything you would like turned into a painting or sketch. Here is a recent commission I received from someone who found my blog and wanted a memory of his trip to Vietnam, during which he lost his camera, except for some photos like the one the painting was based on.

Original Photo of Saigon at Sunset

Saigon at Sunset 2010
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District 3, Saigon, Vietnam Oct 18 2009

5 Nov
roof_color

View from Duyen's Roof Patio, watercolor and ink Erin Lau © 2009

In Vietnam, houses are skinny, to avoid taxes based on the width of buildings. (You can see that brick one in the distance is only about 10′ wide, maybe less) On the flip side, they are also very deep, creating some dark, cavernous spaces. My friend Duyen’s house, which she rents, is off a 3 foot wide side alley, and has 5 interior levels. Open perforations in the walls let fresh air in, as well as any itinerant urban bugs, giving a sense of permeability that can’t be acheived in colder climates, like where I live. Or, for that matter, in a country with strict building codes. I felt compelled to draw a cross section of her house, because it made me think about how minor variations in section can create that necessary boundary between room functions, and private/ public space. The bottom level, for instance, is like the muck room, or garage, thats where the motorbikes and wet shoes go. Above that you enter into the more sacred realm of the house. Thats all for my architecty tangent.

section

Section looking South East

roof_bw

Ink version of rooftop view

Saigon, Vietnam Oct 16 2009

5 Nov
powerlines

Plants and Powerlines Erin Lau © 2009

VIETNAM! Saigon (Ho Chi Minh), its alive, its buzzing, its raining like crazy and this insane jumble of powerlines is situated just three feet away from where I sit on this balcony. I dont even want to know. I will wait out the rain, for an hour, while little boys splash in the growing pool of dirty water below. Theres something a little more raw here, than in China, the adolescence of motorbikes that wont let you cross. Here in the backpacker district, Pham Ngu Lao, its a little too much. Tomorrow I will stay with my friend, Duyen, in a less touristy neighborhood.

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