I have been travelling in Vietnam from september till november going from the south (HCMC) to fly out of Hanoi at end of October.
As a artist, I have seen my contemporaries doing #spraycation, meaning that they travel and paint, and thought about combining the trip with some painting as well, if possible.
I often think about that the idea of doing artwork is, in a way strange, since you:
- Do it mostly in a public space
- Spend your own money for it, available for the public eye.
- Accept the premise, that the artwork might not last (no staying value) more than the minutes it takes of photographing it.
- The documentation is the evidence of the artwork actually existed.
I travelled without any plans, having only booked 4 nights in Ho Chi Minh City, but a search engine was my friend- , found a painter, who led me to the NC STORE in HCMC and the very kind manager of the shop
Having stayed a few days in HCMC, doing the tourist trap things, entering and being at the shop, filled with markers, caps, cans, sketchbooks, tags and canvas work, it was like entering a secret playground, a hideout, a safe place. I had previously done a few walls, both nationally (greve) and the wall in Gothenburg, so I wanted to keep the momentum.
We exchanged stories, about which writer and which approach to artwork was preferred and inspiring, and of course browsing through sketches, and letter studies. I was indeed looking for a wall, an option to paint a legal wall in HCMC and it turned out it was doable. The spot was SaigonOutcast, a Saigon Outcast-Alternative Events Venue Saigon, and I was offered a space. I always try to convey different themes or ideas, when I paint, it can be Jago/yoga, dharma/karma or Being/Begin, or even when I make canvas work.
Being a backpacker in Vietnam, visiting Nui Ba Den, following the plastic trail, taking local buses on noisy, bumpy roads, meeting fleeting contacts through the eyes. Faces covered, motorbike, motorbike..
I was inspired to write “stedsans”, which means:
- Sense of direction:
- sense of being present:
- Feel your senses or at least those lines #lostintranslation
I sketched out the danish word SANS, (but if you are interested in typography, SANS as in SANS-SERIF) which is both substantive and a verb, and choose the colors illustrating the sandy, reddish, orange colors from the city vibe.
I could not use the tools or the method, that I was used to, so it became a few hasty first lines, starting NOT from the first letter, but from the letter N (3rd letter) and then worked outwards.
After 5 hours it was an accomplished work, covering new approaches for me, and I was lucky to get a shot of the manager of the place, merging in with the background colors. It is always very inspirational to paint and do art work abroad, its like you have more freedom, leave the conditionings and the expectations from your peers at home.
If you are travelling in Vietnam and Ho Chi Minh City, I would recommend you to visit and please give a “hi-five” to the people working at the NC STORE:
– Or would like to hang out and think Grafitti, skateboarding, climbing, live music, food and craft beers. Monthly Farmers Markets and Flea Markets, then go visit Saigon Outcast: