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Pull up a Plastic Stool, Break out the Watercolor, We're Painting Saigon

What is worthy of being painted?

Moments of rare beauty, imaginative scenes that re-interpret the world, abstract patterns that evoke complex thoughts and emotions? Sure. But also the familiar. The mundane. The routine. Doing so preserves moments and places and reminds us that everything around us can be a source of inspiration.

Vy simply strolls around Saigon looking for something that catches her eye, upon which she borrows a stool from a nearby vendor or sits on the ground, spending an hour or so to capture it. Her works neither exaggerate nor glamorize, but rather relish in Saigon’s shambolic charisma: clothes hang on balconies beneath colorful awnings, an abandoned styrofoam box rests against a light pole, a fan keeps workers cool in front of their shop, chain stores nestle between residential homes.

When you look at this collection of watercolors that Vy shared with Saigoneer, you will probably recognize a few Saigon landmarks like Bến Thành market and possibly a hẻm, coffee cart or shophouse in your neighborhood. Without a doubt you will also notice Saigon’s unmistakable charm.

The soft colors and smooth strokes lend an almost dream-like quality to the quotidian scenes. In 30 years Saigon will look completely different and when you try to imagine what it once was like, perhaps it will appear in your mind the way Vy has painted it.

Have a look at Vy’s paintings below:

A helmet shop.

A coffee cart on the pavement of Nguyễn Du.

Bright colors adorn the shopfront of a mechanic's.

Green vines envelop the balconies of apartment units.

A sleepy hẻm.

Street personalities.

Sun-drenched corridors at the Nguyễn Thiện Thuật Tenement.

A vegan lunch, anyone?

Scenes from Sa Đéc in the Mekong Delta.

A bright pink wall.

Construction in Saigon.

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