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One of my art projects is being exhibited in Sydney until Sunday 24th May. The show consists of 44 portrait drawings of myself that I had made by street artists in 7 cities in 6 countries; Sydney, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Kuala Lumpur, Hanoi, Chiang Mai and Bangkok.

While observing two street portrait artists at work in Paris in September 2000 I had the idea that it might be interesting to have multiple realistic portraits made of myself in different parts of the world. My thought was that comparing the final results could reveal some of the complexity of what happens in a portrait.

From it’s beginning a portrait embodies uncertainty. The artist observes the sitter and then moves their eye to the paper and makes their mark using a combination of memory and technique. There are further  complications when a third party viewer looks at the finished work, as we experience portraits in a different way than we do landscape or still life. We see the portrait as a work of art but also as a person and will assess the face in the picture in the same way that we do when facing someone. There is the illusion that we are looking at them solely with our own subjectivity when in fact we are also looking through the eyes and memory of the artist who made the portrait.

The work is at the exhibition gallery inside the Sydney Antique Centre, 531 South Dowling St, Surry Hills. Open 7 days from 10-6.

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Ho Tay – West Lake

November 21, 2008

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Hanoi  July ’08   Nokia 6300

Hanoi has a lot of lakes. This is the big one, Ho Tay or West Lake. These shots were taken from the south end, I never went to the north end but there are some big hotels and shops there. This would probably be a nice area to live & there are a lot of apartment buildings with lake views.

I was there a few times & there were always guys fishing in the evening. They walk out through thigh deep water to fishing platforms. I did see a few guys catch some fish & looked at one in a bucket but I don’t know what type it was.

The swan pedal boats are very popular in Hanoi. Evey lake has them, except Hoan Kiem which I think is regarded as too important.

Happy Painting

November 17, 2008

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Hanoi, July ’08   Nikon 28ti

I saw a lot of this sort of happy fantasy world type painting for sale in Hanoi. This was one that I liked. I’d be interested to know who buys them. Are they for childrens’ bedrooms or general home display? Are they widely popular or just with people who like kitsch?

Hanoi kids

November 15, 2008

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Hanoi, Vietnam   July ’08   Leica M6   Tri-X

70% of the population of Vietnam are under the age of 30. It’s a young persons country. They are generally stylishly dressed and mobile. I found this group late one weekend afternoon not far from the old quarter. I think they had been to the markets & were getting organised for the evening. (these are not the ‘Hanoi kids’ who take people on tours of the city. I came up with these words as a descriptive title & only realised later that they were the same. I never met the official Hanoi kids but I’ve heard good things about them.)

Hanoi Meals

November 15, 2008

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Nokia 6300 2mp, Hanoi July ’08

Some of the food I ate in Hanoi. The ice cream was at Fanny’s, across the road from Hoan Kiem lake. They make traditional French style ice cream. The meals on the green table cloth were at Com Chay Nang Tam, a vegetarian restaurant at 79 A Tran Hung Dao, not far from the Hoan Kiem area. Great vegetarian food, I ate there a lot. The odd looking brown food was at the Tamarind Cafe in the old quarter. It’s also vegetarian & the food was good, the camera phone has rendered it poorly as it doesn’t perform well in low light. I found these good places to eat via happycow.net an essential resource for travelling vegetarians.

Hanoi night conversation

September 28, 2008

night panning Hanoi

Something I noticed in Hanoi is that the road is treated as an extension of the footpath. Locals grow up on motor scooters & bikes, so they are totally comfortable whether steering or as a passenger & everyone understands how the traffic flow works. They tend to ride at a moderate pace, say 30 or 40kmh. This gives people the chance to have conversations as they ride, just as you might walk along with some friends while having a conversation.