Thursday, 21 February 2013

I'm having an exhibition!

Hello all! Thanks for checking in. Apologies for my tardiness and delay between the ol' blog posts! 
I just wanted to share my exciting news. I'm having an exhibition! I have not had an exhibition since I left university around 10 years ago, so I am excited but naturally nervous about the reaction I may get! have been experimenting with more mixed media (gouache, graphite, pencil and collage) of late, which means there is a range of styles in the pieces I have on display. I will have the following 12 artworks on display and for sale at Hut 13  in Armadale in Melbourne for all of March. The lovely Lucy Mora acquired some of my work in her store in early 2012 and I visited her store July last year as it is a hub of creative goodness that makes you salivate its so freaking good! While I was visiting she asked whether I would be interested in showing my work in her store for all of March this year, needless to say I jumped at the chance. 

Hut 13 has an instagram and Facebook page (as do I). If you like any of the work that you see you will need to contact Lucy Mora at Hut 13 to inquire about prices after March 2 through either of those aforementioned communication channels. Here is what will be hanging in store, floating in white frames. If you are in Melbourne, I would love, love, love to hear from you if you manage a visit.
Many thanks, Pia x

Saturday, 17 November 2012

littlelandofpia NIGHTMARE for Design Files Open House 2012

I have been to hell and back this week. The 6 works (that you see below) that I poured my heart into for the much anticipated Design Files Open House in Melbourne have been lost in a couriers warehouse in Melbourne for over a week and the company TNT refuses to conduct any further searches. The work appears to have gone without a trace. I also had another 6 pieces for a store in South Australia in the same parcel. So 12 pieces have vanished. I have been phoning them, two of my adorable mates Surinder and Caitlin (thank you so much!!!!) have been hounding them to keep looking and we got nothing. I can't believe it. I'm not sure what lesson I was meant to learn from this. It just seems so unfair.
So these art works will NOT appear in the house. I am so angry, sad, frustrated and disappointed. It's a complete nightmare!!!!! I live in Vietnam and ship artwork to Australia, literally every week. I have been doing this for a year. I have not encountered anything like this before. Of course, the biggest gig of my career so far comes around and they go missing. I am really struggling at the moment, feeling really low and lacking motivation.
I will be able to submit work into the house as long as they are framed and delivered by Tuesday 27th of November. I need to work hard this weekend to pull out some magic. Wish me luck!!! I will photograph them and share them when I can, presuming they make it in time!

This is the blog post I drafted a week ago that I was planning on sharing with you guys around the time that the house opened.

I am so thrilled that I was asked to submit 6 collages (!!) for the much anticipated and much talked about The Design Files Open House project.  The Open House, is a pop-up-shop concept, where by the organizers (Lucy and Lisa-Marie) transform a Melbourne home filled with the wares of Australia's Art and Design Royalty! Last year was the first time the initiative had taken place and there were something like 5000 people that visited the house and purchased products and art that was displayed in a fully functional house over the four days. Pretty sweet hey! I'm beyond jealous that I won't be there again this year to see it in all its glory (living in Vietnam, will be home 10 days after it finishes) and see my artwork hanging along side some of my idols! The media coverage alone last year was immense, so it is without any uncertainty that I communicate how incredibly lucky I am to be a 'chosen one'! You can see who was lucky enough to be included in this seriously glorious project here. Or if you just want to see me (!!) you can see me my info and images here. My best friend of about 15 years, Emma Cleine of Lumiere Art + Co also got a ticket to ride! You can see her wares and what she will have hanging on the walls here. What I would give to crack a bottle of champagne and celebrate this occasion with her!

The Open House will be open to the public from Thursday November 29th to December the 2nd in a house in Windsor Melbourne, Australia. You will need to check the Design Files website to get the physical address closer to the date, as it has not been published as yet if you wish to check it out.

If you do not subscribe to The Design Files, you are missing out! Lucy the lady and brains behind the blog, sources new and inspiring products, houses, designers and initiatives from across Australia and publishes a post on some one or something up-and-coming daily. I was possibly the happiest lady in Vietnam on May the 14th this year when littlelandofpia was the feature story on this hugely popular blog for the day! I still can't believe that is little ol' me that all of those lovely people are talking about in the comments section!

Anyway, I just thought I would share with you the art works I would have had for sale in the Design Files Open House. I have 4 small pieces 28x38cm framed and they are $340 each and 2 larger pieces 56x76cm framed which are $680 each.
"The Chinese Burn" 28x38cm-gouache, spray painted stencils, crayon, graphite and collage on paper.

"Flipping the Bird" 29x38cm- gouache, spray painted stencils, crayon, graphite and collage on paper. 1/1

"North of the River/South of the River" 28x38cm collage and pen on paper. 1/1

"I thought it best to join the office footy tipping comp, so no one judges me, cos I'm from Queensland" 28x38cm collage and gouache on paper. 1/1

"Mum said our small town is cosmopolitan cos the bakery makes cappuccinos" 56x76cm spray paint, collage and pencil on paper. 1/1
"Being a postie is tough, but at least I get to watch birds-said Terry" 56x76cm, screen printing, spray paint, collage and pencil on paper. 1/1

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Asia Life HCMC article November 2012


I am a very lucky lady to have an article featuring my story and my artwork in this months Asia Life HCMC magazine. If you are keen to read it, you can read it via the link below....pages 46 and 47

I upload artworks that I make regularly on my littlelandofpia Facebook page. If you are interested in seeing more of what I am making, check it out here....I would be so happy to have your 'thumbs up' and support.

I would love to hear from you if you are interested in commissioning a littlelandofpia artwork. I send to lovely people all over the world. 

Have a great day,
Pia x

Sunday, 28 October 2012

littlelandofpia gets her paint on!

Evening! Thanks for stopping by and checking out what I have been up to. Your interest and support really does mean the world to me. Thank you to all of you near and far that send me positive feedback on my work. You are the best!

I have uploaded a few images onto my littlelandofpia Facebook page over the past week of some experimental works I have been developing with gouache, graphite pencil and collage. I was feeling the need to try other things in my work and have always shied away from paint, but whilst away on our motorbike trip I was thinking about how I could develop layering effects in the background and negative space in my works on paper, and thought that gouache may do the trick. I really like gouache as it has a more transparent consistency to traditional acrylic paints (that I have used in the past) and I found a box of paints with some great pastel and neon colors in a back street art supply shop in Hanoi whilst visiting recently. These three pieces are off to The Assembly Hall in Williamstown, Melbourne, Australia and will be framed in neon pink wooden box frames. They should be in store in 3 weeks. These works will be apart of a more affordable art range that I am developing. So smaller in size and therefore less expensive to frame. I will post more on my Facebook page as I develop more. 
They are a little hard to read...but #1 says "Rocking the suburbs", #2 says "A top bird" and #3 says "Cool like a Ken Done doona cover". The Australians out there that grew up in the 80's like myself, should understand what this means!.....xx 

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Motorbike adventure in the North of Vietnam

I have just returned from a week up in the North of Vietnam. My husband and I hired motorbikes in Ha Giang and rode around 500 kilometres north to the border of China up and around Dong Van. I couldn't recommend this trip any more. We encountered very few tourists and it was the most authentic travel experience I have had in 4 years in this country. The landscape was sensational and that was amplified when experiencing it on a motorbike. If you live in Vietnam or plan on traveling this great country it will be one of the best trips you can do.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

The best that Ho Chi Minh has to offer

 What I wished I had known about when I first got to this city.

Want to live it up whilst in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam? Here are my hot tips for the best of the best examples of hedonistic goodness. Ok, your probably going to think I’m a cocktail swilling, stuck up ex-pat that never gets her feet dirty or slurps a bowl of Pho’ with the rest of them on a plastic chair. Well your wrong! I just know what my family and friends want when they come here, so here you are, my tips for the best that Ho Chi Minh has to offer (in my opinion).

I am also requesting that you please not contact me asking me which hotel you should stay at, where you should get your clothes copied or which Cu Chi Tunnel tour is the best! I am not a travel guide, that’s what Trip Advisor is for. I’m just somebody that lives here and is deciding to selectively share what she knows after 3+ years here ;-) These are not necessarily cheap options, so if your on the back packer ‘counting your pennies’ travel adventure. A) Head to Pham Ngu Lao as the book suggests or B) What I am suggesting below will most likely send you into a spin as its’ gold that you possibly cannot afford, so maybe choose one or two off the list and enjoy!
My travel agent Chris at Asiana Travel on Nguyen Hue is the bomb! He has and will sort you out with goods…

You will no doubt go to The Reunification Palace, The War Memorial, Ben Thanh Market, Cu Chi Tunnels and possibly the Mekong. Well they are the top touristy things to do. My suggestions are certainly less cultural and more indulgent! Judge away!

1)  Champagne Brunch on Sunday at the Intercontinental Hotel from 12-3pm.
Many hotels offer something similar, but this is the best in my opinion. Free flow Veuve Clicquot champagne and great food for about 50 dollars a head! You must book ahead as its popular. Seriously, even if you strangely think French champagne is ‘just awwright’, do it, just cos’ you can! Corner Hai Ba Trung  St. & Le Duan Bl, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Phone 0835209999. Dress nicely.

2)  Cocktails and dinner at The Deck. This restaurant is about 20 minutes out of the city centre, and right on the river. It has great cocktails and menu and a lovely place to go for a special evening. Again, book ahead, and ask for a table by the river. Approx 50 dollars a head for a couple of cocktails and 2 courses. It’s a Euro/Asian fusion menu. They have a happy hour from 4-7pm every day. You won’t be disappointed; at least I don’t know anyone that has been.

3)  L’Usine -the closest this city gets to trendy! Good shopping for clothes and home wares and really nice coffee or ca phe sudas (the closest I have come to a Melbourne coffee!), CUPCAKES, salads and baguettes. Away from the bustle on the streets this is a little oasis, any time other than Saturday and Sunday mornings! They have recently opened another one on Lei Loi but it is the original one that I love. Go down the alleyway beneath lined with bad replicative artworks, and turn right and head up a stairwell past the parked motorbikes. 151 Dong Khoi Street. It sounds more difficult than it actually is! Right in the heart of the city and goodness to be had.

4)  Quynhs Beauty Salon-0835124321 open from 9am to 8pm 7 days a week.
This place is the ex-pat cheap and cheerful beauty salon mecca in District 2 so about 20 minutes from the city centre. So nowhere near geographically speaking to Ben Thanh market (as a guide!) I have a 90-minute Dermologica facial as often as possible and it costs the outrageous sum of about 12 dollars! I tip 100,000 VD and they seem really happy and appreciative. I have given most of the reputable and expensive spas in town a work out and this is still my favourite! You can also get massages, mani+pedi's, eyelash extensions, your hair washed, hair coloured etc as well. Facials and mani+pedi's are my staples. The manicures and pedicures are thorough, they razor the skin off my feet, and are really meticulous. Not a fancy or overly clean place (!!), but if you are willing to turn a blind eye, again, you wont be disappointed! Having said that, the wax pot in the waxing room seems to have DNA samples from 1986 hovering about. So please don’t consider this if you are squeamish!Mani pedi's are a killer at about 4 dollars a pop!They don't have a website sorry. 

Don’t be swayed by the ladies on the street offering you massages and the like in District 1. Trust me, if you want good places in District 1, these places are where the ladies that live here go. So expect to pay a touch more, but the places listed below are clean and reputable. Get your bikini line waxed, kind of reputable!
Jasmine Spa (45 Ton Thap Tiep 3827 2737) and Rosa Blanca are my tips for midrange and reputable spas. For something equally fancy try the L’apothiquare ½ Day Beauty deal. Its decadent! Just call them on 0839325181 for more info. They have a few of these places throughout town but only go to the D3 address.  Approx. $90 USD for the 5 hour half-day beauty package, consisting of mani+pedi, massage, facial, lunch, sauna, steam room and its very nice and you will feel like a new woman/man on departure!  Good to take a friend though as I am well and truly over sitting and being handled by the 5 hour mark!

5)  Vietnamese food free of MSG and tasty goodness. I think these places are the best of the best in this city.
 Cuch Gach Quan is unfortunately really popular so you will need to book, but there is a reason why it’s so busy. It’s found in a little colonial style wooden house in outer District 1. Its not always easy to find, but with its increasing popularity, taxi drivers are getting better at getting there! We order the cactus with garlic, and fish with passion fruit perpetually but you can’t really go wrong with their menu.
10 Dang Tat | Ward Tan Dinh, Ho Chi Minh City District 1, Vietnam. 0084838480144 .
  Tib Chai is a more local establishment and a stones throw from the previously mentioned place. Tib Chai is all vegetarian and alcohol free. Don’t let that put you off. I would eat steak three times a day if I could and I still crave and dream about this food! Its a little bit is out of the way, but such nice food and free of the tourist trap. Get the mustard leaf rolls, jackfruit salad, and grilled eggplant to die for. Some of the best Vietnamese I have eaten. 11 Tran Nhat Duat, District 1 HCMC. I don’t ever book, I just turn up.
 Pho Hoa- 260C Pasteur Street | Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam +84-8-829-7943. This place is between the plastic chair on the street and a completely civilized restaurant. It’s also a little popular with tourists unfortunately, but the Pho soup is lovely and a real hit with the locals as well. The reason I am recommending this place is because they have an English menu but it still feels local enough to get a hit of the Pho’ goodness without feeling like you will get dysentery the moment you take your first slurp!

 I can’t promise the next few options don’t have MSG in their food, but     it’s a local experience that I have enjoyed!
6) The roitessoire style pork and Vietnamese pickle and vegie Banh Mi’ baguette roll is the goods at the market opposite the tallest building in town Bitexco. When you see the Adidas shop at the base of this building look across the street to the small local food market on the corner and you will see him there. There is only one dude there selling them and they are about 50 cents for a finger licking good baguette. The juice chic next to him does a tidy juice as well.
If you want a little foodie adventure?..... get in a cab and go up Hai Ba Trung away from the river and city. Keep your eyes peeled on the left hand side for a pink Catholic church (good reference as I have only spotted two in this city).  From the heart of the city its about 7 minutes depending on traffic. Ask the cab driver to stop there at that church. Brave the traffic and walk across the road to the street directly opposite the church. There is a famous and long-standing Ban Xeo (Vietnamese pork and prawn pancakes with bean shoots and fish sauce) place down this little street. About 30 metres in on the left is an alleyway/restaurant courtyard thing. Go to the end restaurant. This place has the best Ban Xeo this city may offer. It sounds harder than it really is to find this place!
All things crab! Very local place Quan Thuy 94 at #84 Dinh Tien Hoang St. Crabmeat with mushrooms and chilli and crab spring rolls, fried soft shell crab good on metal chairs and peeling posters on the wall from 1982.
For street meat/meat on a stick and the closest this city comes to Bia Hoi go to  corner Nguyen Trung Truc and Nguyen Du Streets
7) This is the kind of touristy, but also rad tour!  I ride this city with great delight on my trusty Honda Wave motorbike weaving in and out of the traffic without a care these days. But recently a group of 20 people and I did this tour at night. Its 70 bucks so a wee bit exxy, but I thought it was great and am therefore happily recommending it to you! Vietnam Vespa Adventure Tours. It was so much fun and a great way to feel apart of the city and go to some local restaurants and enjoy some back alley driving. You have a guide driving you the whole time. You just need to hang on and enjoy! You would need to book in advance and I would say it would be more fun if you went with people you know. Ok, gross generalization! ;-)
8) I have also heard great things about this tour…. If you are into Art…and as you are on my blog, I’m hoping this is the case! give’s you an insight into the history of Vietnamese Art from a knowledgeable English lass named Sophie.
9) My favourite small bar with good tunes, and not inundated with bogan tourists or prostitutes for a nighttime boogie and cocktails! La Fenetre Soleil 44 Ly Tu Trong Street,  District 1.

For drunken nightclub times packed to the rafters with all walks of life in this city (some mentioned above!) go to ‘Apo’ Apocalypse Now. 2C Thi Sach Street
District 1. They ask for a cover charge these days which is “com com ding ding” (CRAZY!). Ps-It’s not in the back packer area. You’ll get good (bad) tunes, but great when you think need a little Pitbull and Rihanna fix at 1 am! Its not the place to go to sober, you will hate it! The German style hot dogs in the courtyard are great to soak up some of the cheap alcohol you will have consumed tonight. If you still need more after they kick you out at 2am, head to Pham Ngu Lao backpacker area to Crazy Buffalo for more of the same.

10) Great cocktails and good eats (but shitty d├ęcor)-Zanzabar. 41 - 47 Dong Du St District 1. I would still go here over the cheesy Caravelle Hotel rooftop where every cat’s ass frequents just for their drinks, but sadly without a view! Their Passion fruit Caprioska is gooood! For an amazing view and a more expensive cocktail go to Shri or Chill bar. The Hyatt Martini bar does a tidy martini as well. All of these places are fancy, so dress nicely.

11) If you've had enough morning glory, fresh spring rolls and tamarind prawns on your Nam adventure this place has the best steak dinner in town!So freaking good is El Gaucho, an Argentinian place here. It’s my favourite restaurant in the city and where I go to treat myself.  Fit with great service, location and food. It’s making me salivate just typing it out. Go to the District 1 address! Its right near the Hyatt hotel. Again, probably similar prices to home, but melt in your mouth meaty goodness.
12) Spring Rolls of many varieties…a commercial looking establishment but so freaking good- Wrap and Roll. There is one on Nguyen Hue a block or two back from the river and one on Le Thanh Ton not far from the Hyatt. Good for lunch, cheap and great.
13) Ice cream-Fanny’s. Yep, shocking name, but bare with me, its good! I think it’s the best ice cream that you can get in this city anyway. The best chain restaurant to go to is 29-31 D Ton That Thiep D1.
14) I have been to the movies here three times in three years. The reason being that they generally only show really bad ‘boy movies’ that bore the beejuzus out of me! But if on the off chance they have something half decent on, going to the cinema here costs about 3 bucks a person and is a great way to beat the heat and get a taste of home if you have been travelling for a long time! Great sound quality, same, same as at home and one tenth the price. I go to Hung Vuong Plaza (about 15 minutes from city) and cinema's in the other ex-pat area in Saigon, District 7 (Phu My Hung-about 15 minutes from city).  This website should tell you whats on
 I will add to this post, if I think of anything else great over time. 
And if people like, I can create a list for places outside of HCMC, like the best beach side mini break locations? Let me know if this is something that you would like to know?
Enjoy my adopted city, she sure is a winner!
Pia xx

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Some image updates from my little land....

"I got my rhythm from Elvis" 56x76cm littlelandofpia original

"Gary was refused entry into the office when he appeared wearing this" 28x38cm littlelandofpia original 
This is a Saigon inspired piece that I made to auction at the Auscham ball in Saigon. It raised $550 USD for the Loreto foundation.

"The boys all agreed that wearing crocs won't get you a girl" 28x38cm
littlelandofpia original
for Jfahari store- Toorak Rd South Yarra Melbourne.

"I'm going down, down, down to Funky Town" 56x76cm littlelandofpia
for Fenton and Fenton High St Prahan, Melbourne

"These 2 muppets did not do Movember" 56x76cm littlelandofpia
 for a private client commission.
"Saigon will always have a special place in my heart" 28x38cm
littlelandofpia original for a private client.

I am selling these hand made felt and wool blanket stitched Xmas stockings with oversized pom pom's in neon this Christmas! They come in 4 different colors are approx 50cm tall and 40cm wide. They come in this felt envelope so it feels like a precious gift when receiving it. Email me at if you wish to know prices or more information.

I have recently had 3 small works framed in neon frames for the Assembly Hall store in Williamstown Melbourne.  I usually frame in white frames but as the store requested this, I had to try it. They give the pieces a completely different look, I'm pretty happy with the outcome. Thanks Jess at Assembly Hall for suggesting it;-)