Name: Vy Ngo
Primary Medium: Oil, acrylic, mixed media
Social Media Links: instagram @vjngo_art
First off, tell us about your upcoming exhibition:
My upcoming solo exhibition at Recspec Gallery is called “Dreamscapes”. It is a show about how our historical past can shift and change with time and emotionality. I have been obsessed with the neuroscience behind the formation of memories and how our brain interprets events through complex layers of sensory information, feelings, and chemical releases. When I started this abstract series of paintings, I was reflecting on my relationships and various moments in which I had a strong emotional connection. In the middle of the series however, I lost my grandmother and became paralyzed with questions regarding my past and the futility of creating work. My grandmother, an English teacher and prolific poet, published two books. In my grieving, her poetry depicting her memories and brief observations, helped me understand the importance of exploring the depths and layers of these unfamiliar landscapes. By discovering the beauty in the transient nature of memories, we can focus more on the present moment and the infinite possibilities that come with making new connections.
The opening reception will be on Sept 15, 5-8 pm at the Recspec Gallery (2832 East MLK Jr. Blvd Austin, Texas 78702, Flatbed Press Building) and will be on view through October 6.
What inspires/motivates your work?
The act of self-discovery through creation motivates me to work.
Growing up as a first-generation born Vietnamese American, I am constantly in struggle with my own identity, the context of being multi-cultural, and how societal expectations can influence and hinder our own truth. By creating, I am making sense of myself while raising more questions about the world and the human experience.
What draws you to your medium?
I have been drawing since I could hold a pencil and I have been dancing since I could walk. Painting is a merge between both forms. I love how my physical presence is left with an intentional or subconscious mark and after many layers, a story begins to unfold or take shape. Although I started off as a painter, I have been experimenting with other modalities of layering stories and look forward to venturing as a visual artist into other mediums.
How long have you been an artist, and how has your practice changed over time?
I would say that I have been an artist my entire life. Although the arts had a strong presence in my younger years, I have been spending the first half absorbing the world, exploring my love of science, practicing medicine, and serving others in my community. After several decades of percolating material, I finally came to a boiling point and had to express myself creatively or lose myself forever. The biggest shift in my practice however, started once I began committing to studio time outside my home. Having a separate space where you can create without interruption and distraction has been the greatest gift.
What are you making now and why?
Having just finished an abstract body of work, I am looking forward to returning to another series I started a few months back that addresses the multi-cultural complexities of living in the United States as an immigrant. I won’t reveal much more but it is going to really push my boundaries as an artist.
What does the Austin arts community need most as the city continues to grow?
I am constantly amazed and inspired by the growing talent and community of artists in Austin. But for the art community to continue to thrive, we need a designated art district that has affordable rent control for artists to practice, galleries to exhibit, and art collectors to come interact with artists on a regular basis. We also need to grow the art market here by introducing the visual arts as a valuable investment to successful entrepreneurs, businesses, and community leaders.
Vy Ngo is an Austin based visual artist who draws influences from her life as a Vietnamese American, reflections on the human condition and various cultures, the study of neuroscience and medicine, and her children. Her work is a constant pendulum between order and chaos, control and freedom, the recognizable and the intangible, scientific thought and creative intuition, cultural identity and self-realization. With layers upon layers of color, movement, and markings, her process is a journey of intrigue and discovery, resulting in the paintings becoming poetic, modern, and dynamic.