Richie Fawcett: bartist – sketch artist and his connections to Vietnam
Biography of Richie Fawcett: From a Archaeology student to a stylish Bartist
Born in Norfolk, England in 1973, Richie studied Egyptian Archaeology at University College London, specializing in underwater archaeological photography and ancient shipwrecks. After graduating, he became a photographer for well-known lifestyle publications such as FHM, Loaded, Mix Mag and DJ magazines in London during the mid to late 1990’s.
After some years spent travelling the Caribbean and Pacific Ocean as cruise ship photographer and videographer towards the end of the 1990’s, Richie returned to London and started as a cocktail bartender in buzzing Soho, in 2000. He quickly became involved in the emerging cocktail scene at that time and moved to the then newly opened hush in Mayfair, owned by Roger Moore (The second James bond). It was here that he learned the fine art of cocktail making in one of London’s top 5 bars at the time.
Since leaving hush and London, Richie has experience an interesting nomadic life in hospitality. Well noted for his creative cocktail skills, and love of training, Richie has set up and influenced some of the World’s Best Bars, from London, Hong Kong and now Saigon.
Vietnam where grow up the artistic passion and connection
After 8 years in the Vietnam he has played a key role in the setting up and operating many of the country’s most influential names in the industry, notably, Six Senses, Sorae, Shri, The Studio Saigon, Hyde and No Vacancy to name but a few. He continues to consult for all the major bars and resorts as bar trainer, sits on the panel for the World’s Best Bars and has published a book on the subject. He has trained l00’s of bartenders in the country and also runs his own gallery and very private speakeasy “The Studio Saigon” in March 2017, where he permanently exhibits his original art works and makes cocktails inspired by the country’s history using ingredients native to Vietnam.
ln his unique signature sketches, panoramic views of the cityscape, his technique is to return to the same position on the street for many days to capture the feeling of the scene. He always carries a small sketch book filled with thumbnail sketches of the Cyclo riders, Xe Om, and the many street characters he encounters on is travels. He has recently published a cocktail, art and history book about Vietnam focusing on the buildings and street scenes of Saigon.
CLOUD 9 PROJECT
Cloud 9 Project is a sequel exhibition to the critically acclaimed City Rising exhibition that has been on touring display for the past 12 months in L’usine (Dong Khoi), Hum (Thao Dien) and The Studio Saigon (Ly Tu Trong) in Ho Chi Minh City.
The work features the progressive increase in height of the tallest buildings in Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) in tandem with the development of the self-taught drawing technique of artist Richie Fawcett who started to document the city’s changing skyline more than seven years ago.
The collection shows rare early pencil sketches by the artist of the skyline developing, through to his latest large scale detailed pen and ink work.
Originally from the UK, Richie Fawcett has witnessed the gradual transformation of the city into a Southeast Asian megacity over the past decade, all the while sketching that transformation on the streets and tower tops making up the emerging skyline.
Inspired by the redefinition of the skyline in front of him, Fawcett has selected the most significant nine towers that at one time in Ho Chi Minh City’s history held the title as tallest building. Landmark 81, completed in 2018, is currently the city’s tallest building standing at 470 metres; quite the step up from the Sunwah Tower (Nguyen Hue), completed in 1995, that stands at just 92 metres.
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