How can you describe how a whole town makes you feel? In fact, his is only a small part of Hoi An but I have tried to express through colour and texture, symbols and patterns the exhuberance, intrigue, history and energy of this place. 


With each plot of land within the grid of streets and the river, I have used contrasting or harmonious colours in an intuitive way, trying to think about that block with its buildings and businesses while I paint. I know the shops and many of the products and the people who work there; there are places I sit and sketch, drink wine, eat or go shopping. There are old houses, relics, modern buildings, offices, museums and eateries.


Before there were any streets at all, there may have been an ancient settlement of the Sa Huynh people. Some streets are hundreds of years old, some were only developed after the river silted up in the 1800s, Some streets are even newer than that. The island at the bottom of the picture used to be no more than a sandbank with some fishing huts. But the river always flowed through and down to the Cua Dai Cham about 3 km east.


Acrylic on canvas - 120 x 140cm

Spirit of all time by Bridget March