Here’s a short, ‘behind the scenes’ film maker, Adri Berger put together when we were making Portraits from Luang Prabang - his series of ’moving portraits’ of some of the people at the centre of traditional culture in this World Heritage Site.

I contributed illustrations used in transitions between each of the ‘portraits’.

Since that film was made,  silversmith, Thit Pheng Maniphone and Khon dance mask maker, Manivong Khadtinyalad have passed away. Both were well known and respected craftsmen, in Laos and played an important part in helping to maintain traditional art forms.

They can be seen talking about their craft in the film Portraits from Luang Prabang, here: 




Drawing gone Awry

In the grounds of Wat Chumkhong at the top of Kounxoua Street. I lost control of this drawing but kept going without caring how it turned out. Sometimes the process is worth more than the result.

KounXoua Street

Luang Prabang is known for the diversity and richness of its architectural heritage. While most of the town’s older buildings are still standing many have been converted to serve tourism. Old houses make great hotels.

But in the centre of Luang Prabang’s designated Heritage Area, Kounxoua Street still reflects the town’s architectural and cultural heritage.  

A grand house built in the colonial era stands opposite a row of old shophouses alongside traditional wooden houses – mostly occupied by families that have lived in them for decades.

Though there are a few guesthouses and cafes, to me, Kounxoua Street embodies the as yet ungentrified Luang Prabang.

But tourism drives the economy here and the railway line connecting China to Singapore is heading this way. So while the older people living along Kounxoua Street may not want to move, in the future, younger members of their families could well be tempted by the large sums offered for old houses that are beyond their means to renovate, and the neighbourhood will no doubt change. Which is one reason why I am drawing it now.

Finally the first post

A few pages from a sketchbook, drawn from outside a cafe in Luang Prabang

New website

Take a look at my new site - drawntoasia.com