Vietnamese sketchers capture disappearing urban icons

By Thanh Nam, Thanh Nien News

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Vietnamese and foreign sketchers show their works in the streets of Ho Chi Minh City. Photo:  Thanh Nam Vietnamese and foreign sketchers show their works in the streets of Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Thanh Nam

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A group of local sketchers has for the last two years been going around the country to capture street scenes and urban landscapes.
Urban Sketchers Vietnam was established around three years ago by Vu Duc Chien, a Ho Chi Minh City-based architect, as part of a global network of urban sketchers who connect on Facebook.
Chien said he knows of many beautiful places, architectural relics, ancient houses and extraordinary street corners that have disappeared due to urban planning.
There are beautiful and common images of things like cyclos and small boats that are seen less by the day, he said.
“It was a feeling of loss. I was afraid that our urban heritage would disappear one day, so I decided to establish the group to keep a record of the heritage before it is gone forever.”
His idea was warmly supported by thousands of people of all ages and walks of life across the country. Many sketchers from foreign countries also joined the group.
Chien said he cannot count how many sketches have been made by more than 1,500 members. Besides major cities, they also go to famous spots inside and outside Vietnam to sketch scenes and landscapes.

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