Saigon-based artist Richie Fawcett is back with an extensive new collection of drawings that will soon be on display at L’Usine Dong Khoi.
Fawcett’s detailed sketches – which have been featured by Saigoneer before – focus on Saigon’s cityscapes. Unlike his previous works, which were done at street-level, his new collection, entitled “City Rising”, was completed on rooftops around the metropolis. This vantage point not only changes the perspective of the pieces, but also the orientation of his canvas. Fawcett’s oeuvre now also features vertical works, in addition to the typical horizontal landscapes.
Though his technique has stayed more or less the same compared to previous works, it has gotten more detailed, while the scale has grown as well. “The size of the work has increased with making three or more city skyline pieces join each other to make a 180-degree, 270-degree or complete 360-degree view of the city from various rooftops around Saigon,” Fawcett told Saigoneer via email.
The greater detail and increased scale have resulted in longer production times. According to the artist, smaller panoramas take two or three days to complete, while larger pieces can take more than a month of work. His art is that much more impressive when one learns that Fawcett switched from pencils to ink, an unforgiving medium. This, however, didn’t phase him. “A four- or five-hour drawing session takes a lot of concentration and by the end I’m pretty relaxed. It’s like mental yoga,” Fawcett shared.
While perfection is the aim, this can be easily derailed by things like coffee stains, which end up being included in the final piece. “It’s very frustrating when it happens, and sometimes I need to make the coffee stain part of the drawing,” shared Fawcett.
He also recently opened his own gallery, Studio Saigon, at 42 Ly Tu Trong Street to display his drawings. “It seemed appropriate to combine my interest in art, history and cocktails and create a unique concept that tells a story and has a meaning on different levels. With a degree in ancient archaeology, I look at the whole of central Saigon as a living museum, with one foot in the past and one foot in the present looking towards the future. Just like the film ‘A Night at the Museum’, Saigon comes alive at night,” Fawcett told Saigoneer.
Richie Fawcett’s prints are available at Studio Saigon and L’Usine Dong Khoi for at least the duration of the exhibition from April 27 to May 31.
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