After returning from six years abroad having been lucky enough to experience first hand as an ex-pat, the rich cultures on Penang, Malaysia with its myriad of colours and creeds and Vietnam with its spirited and wonderfully kind people, I found myself missing some of the simple treasures that South East Asia had to offer.
A simple approach to living, where religious events like Ramadan, Devali (the festival of lights) sat comfortably with Easter and Christmas in the cultural potpourri that the so called jewel in Asia’s crown, Penang had to offer. It is impossible not to be inspired to photograph, sketch, paint, sculpt or simply sit back and wonder at the colour and life on display every day in such a vibrant community.
Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) blinds you from the moment you arrive at the airport. The drive into town is a life experience in itself. Four years in this huge city left me comfortable with the continual attack on the senses that 7.2 million people in a town which grew and changed every time I dared to cross the main road into the heart of District 1.
My current work is a lasting feeling from my time in Asia. A simplicity and innocence with an underlying cultural wealth that sits calmly within its patriots, is depicted within the puppet in all its finery. No strings attached, the puppet calmly encapsulates a sense of self awareness and an underlying confidence that will continue to grow in the coming decade.