Saigon Compass

This pen and pencil drawing is based on a smashed American war compass where the cracks resemble a birds eye view of Ho Chi Minh City. The outside ring has a detailed history of how the city was formed from Khmer rule to the Gia Dinh era and Nguyen Dynasty influences through to the French occupation and then finally Ho Chi Minh's triumphant re-gain of power with the Vietnamese Communist Party. Inside held up by bamboo is an abstract map of the city with each district being represented by a particular strength or quality. In order to create this piece I studied the map of Ho Chi Minh in detail to try and keep it as accurate as possible. Many of the lines and detail match up to famous roads and junctions to keep the illusion of a map. The districts are separated by bamboo sticks which are tied together with string.

Pen and pencil illustration digitally manipulated