Self-taught artist’s paintings add color to Saigon's landmarks

By Mai Nhat   January 28, 2020 | 09:31 pm PT
Artist Pham Cong Tam uses the watercolor realism technique to bring iconic Saigon landmarks to life.

A painting of the Saigon Central Post Office in District 1 is one of many Tam's works that was published a book called "Canh Sac Pho Thi Saigon - Cho Lon" (Urband Landscape of Saigon-Chinatown). According to the book, the artist is from Phu Nhuan District and taught himself how to use oil, lacquer and watercolors. 


A painting of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee office at 86 Le Thanh Ton Street, District 1. Writer Pham Cong Luan says: "Since his (Tam's) life is closely attached to this place, his paintings capture realistic images and his emotions."


The artist uses watercolor realism to capture Saigon's second tallest building, Bitexco Financial Tower in District 1, which stands 262.5m, as seen from Nguyen Hue Street.


Students sit and chat on Nguyen Hue Street’s pedestrians-only median strip.


Ben Thanh Market in District 1 before Tet (Lunar New Year).


A statue of national hero Tran Hung Dao (1226-1300), who led armies to repel three major Mongol invasions in the 13th century, at Me Linh Square overlooking the Saigon River since 1967.


The Ho Chi Minh City Fine Arts Museum on Pho Duc Chinh Street, District 1, with its French colonial architecture. 


Pham Ngu Lao Street, one of Saigon's many ‘backpacker’ streets.


People perform a lion dance in front of a temple in District 5, Saigon's Chinatown. For the ethnic Chinese community, the lion dance is an indispensable part of Tet and other important festivals and events. The dance, it is believed, dispels evil and brings luck and success.

Photo courtesy of Phuong Nam Publishing

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