Sketched in Time

Mai Thi Luu, Saigon:

The Jade Emperor Pagoda in District 1 was riddled with sweaty tourists posing for photos outside the gates. I decided to go for an iced coffee across the street to wait for the throng of Westerners to leave on their buses so I could do some sketches of the famous pagoda. While sipping on my sweet coffee, I was taken with the scene across the road; a quirky run-of-the-mill restaurant with two men happily slurping noodles in the shade. A friendly woman was serving them and also gave a few scraps of food to a street dog. I immediately took out my pencil and sketchpad and started creating some preliminary sketches of this common, everyday Saigon scene. I wanted to replicate each detail— every brick and crack, and letter in the signage. These are the scenes I so easily miss when driving around on the back of a Grab bike, and I was inspired by its commonality.

Sapa:

I went hiking in Sapa a few years ago. Like most tourists, I was drawn to the green terraced rice fields and tiny villages, which reminded me of the Shire from Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. Children were playing in the mud alongside water buffaloes. One boy climbed onto the back of one of the buffalo, it seemed unfazed by the boy’s presence. The drawing was done from a photograph I took at that time because I didn’t have my sketchbook with me.

 

Pho Co, Hanoi:

 The Old Quarter in Hanoi is a beautiful juxtaposition of French colonial architecture and Vietnamese culture. As I set off to find a scene to sketch in this historic part of the city, I was inspired by a group of men relaxing by their scooters in the shade of an alleyway. They seemed unfazed by the bustling crowds of tourists or the noisy scooters buzzing past them. I quickly took out my sketchbook to capture one man in particular—he was standing by his scooter taking a break.

Born in South Africa, Louis Barnard uses drawing as a way to understand the different cultures he encounters while  living in Asia. His illustrations capture moments in life that would otherwise go unnoticed. From Korea to Vietnam and portraits to children’s illustrations, see more of Louis’ works at www.louisbarnardillustration.org and Instagram: louis123barnard

Illustrations by Louis Barnard

 

 

Share this story, choose your platform!

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on tumblr
Share on google
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on vk
Share on email
About the author:

1 thought on “Sketched in Time”

  1. Louis’ sketches taught me how to look…and eventually how to SEE. His sketches created in me an awareness of the world around me…no matter where I am. I had a foot operation and had to stay put on one place for two months. I decided to LOOK and observe my surroundings through Louis Barnard’s eyes. Never before have I seen such beauty…

Leave a Comment

A Tale of Two Traditions

The origin and evolution of Vietnamese traditional medicine The current historical (and hysterical?) moment has brought into sharp focus Vietnam’s northern neighbor, specifically a practice that feels almost occultish: the eating of exotic animals. It’s a custom that deserves context: Vietnam’s northern neighbor consumes animals reportedly for their healing or medicinal properties. Similarly, the Fito

Read More »

Switch Off and Connect

DIY workshops for crafts and beauty products with Amber House The do-it-yourself (DIY) urge is in full resurgence as people voluntarily limit their (solo!) social media consumption in favour of face-to-face interaction with others and creating communities. More and more people are seeking new experiences instead of obtaining more and more things. Amber Nguyen established

Read More »

The Quarantined Couple

The day after Jake* went to Buddha Bar on March 14 with his girlfriend Amy*, he remembered he felt sick, a sore throat and mild fever. It was similar to his girlfriend’s day-long fever and aches. Nothing too serious for either. Something more severe may have triggered alarm in him. Their visit happened as Vietnam

Read More »

Customer Satisfaction

Learn the differences between customer service versus customer experience, and how they work together to boost lifelong loyalty Pop quiz, corporate business leaders: Which team or department is responsible for customer experience? Here’s a hint: Think beyond department borders. Sales, Customer Service, Marketing, Logistics, IT, etc. Delivering incredible customer experiences in today’s agile economy is

Read More »

An All-Rounder

Paving the road for cricket’s growth in Vietnam If you ask most locals about cricket they might tell you that a chorus of chirping from this insect is a pleasant part of the soundscape of summertime, but that’s not the type of cricket that Jeremy Stein is interested in as the president of Vietnam Cricket

Read More »

A Complete Guide to Go Camping in Vietnam

Vietnam is a beautiful country with a lot to offer to campers. Most of us imagine Vietnam as a purely tropical country. But, it does have parts that fall into the temperate zone. Apart from a handful of places, it doesn’t get terribly cold, but several locations have cool weather. Visiting the country and seeing

Read More »