We're super excited to announce the inclusion of urban artist Liar Ben and CƠM HỘP Saigon to our Hidden Saigon Tours. Liar Ben has been in the forefront of the urban art/graffiti scene since the 2000s with his Cô Mía project, which can be seen all around town.
Saigonese urban artist Liar Ben is the man behind the latest concept shop in Saigon, Com Hop Saigon. The idea initially came when he was looking for a place to display his line of designer toys and artwork. With little to no place for local artists to sell their work, when a space opened up in the vintage apartment building where his studio is located, he jumped at the opportunity. Com Hop Saigon provides a space for designer and collectible toys from local and international artists. It also provides a space for local artist pop up events and exhibitions.
Liar Ben studied at the Ho Chi Minh Fine Arts University but left before completing his degree as he felt there was too much of a focus on technique and not enough conceptual training. Then in 2010, opportunity came in the form of a position as an assistant at the art space Zero Station. Under the guidance of founder, Nguyen Nhu Huy, Liar Ben learned the ins and out behind running an art space, from curating, to marketing, to execution, all the while creating his own graffiti pieces and murals.
One of his pieces that brought Liar Ben to the forefront of the urban art/graffiti scene was his Co Mia urban art project. It initially started as a research project and then grew into a whole life of its own. Liar Ben was curious as to where the image of the sugar cane lady on all the sugar cane carts around town came from and began doing research about it. What resulted was a whole urban art campaign that blended the traditional with the graffiti style; it included murals, stickering, and installation pieces all around town. It is this project that lead Liar Ben to be selected as one of 3 Vietnamese artists to attend a 3-month residency program in Yokohama, Japan.
Nowadays, Liar Ben is still pushing and influencing the urban art scene in Saigon. His new style incorporates traditional New York lettering with his own characters. This has helped to push the Saigon graffiti scene to move beyond traditional lettering. Up and coming artists are now doing the same with their own characters. And now these young artists will have a space to showcase their work – Com Hop Saigon.