Ngo Van Sac’s fascination for textures and materials: paper, wood, sand and acrylic, all combine to create very powerful art pieces.
"My art-work is about desires: the tension between real life and fantasy and the intricate relationships between humans. To show this intensity, I like strong renderings of figure, the effect of different surface textures and the strong contrast between black and white.” Ngo Van Sac
Ngo Van Sac's wood burn portraits represent a pivotal point in his artistic path: He started painting on wood panels about ten years ago, but when he looked back at the paintings he had created, none of them were up to his standards. So, he burned them all. In the flames, with natural colours created by the heat, he saw them in a new way, discovering in them a new life and a new art form.
By combining fire and natural pinewood, Ngo Van Sac truly discovered himself. "I use the fire to paint on wood. It’s my creation, my exploration and my passion. I use fire to burn the wood and I use acrylic to paint on some parts. At last vanish oil covers and protects the whole painting. All the portraits of the children, ladies and men on my paintings and sculptures come from the memory of my hometown.” - Ngo Van Sac
The subjects depicted in Ngo Van Sac’s artworks are inspired by his travels around Vietnam. He is often struck by the beautiful authenticity of the people, primarily children, he encounters.
One of his more poignant artworks, “Land of Memory” features a little school girl in the minority village of Sapa, where Ngo Van Sac was doing charity work. The child’s naive dream of life captivated him. He wondered, if in her innocence, was she yearning for a better life in the city? Was she aspiring for a bright and better future, as hope was evident from the expression on her face. He left the village riveted by her; she remained in his head for a long time and he felt compelled to do a portrait of her. Upon the completion of the portrait, he was able to let go of the memory of her.
Each of his portraits contains many smaller portraits and images, and together they create a story, a unique identity that brings us deep in thoughts. These portraits are Sac’s personal feelings that he wants to express through the natural colours of the wood and the veins in the wood, which often appear unexpectedly.
Born in 1980 in Hanoi, Ngo Van Sac has gained recognition in Vietnam and internationally for his unique inspiration. He has held solo exhibitions in Canada, Japan, Hungary, South Korea, Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore.
Ngo Van Sac
Fire on wood