This journey is to understand heritage and the connection to leaving this world better than when we had started.
The artist known as INKSAP creates works of art that can be found on the streets and in galleries. His signature style is known as ARTIFACT: collections of discarded materials layered in repetition with organic movement and folding, completed with painted images of face-masked Vietnamese refugees.
In 2015 he began incorporating environmental issues and initiatives into his artwork. His debut work – titled Xuanha – features a young girl wearing a face mask carrying a tree in her backpack. This image, burned into a silkscreen then printed onto paper, has been installed in numerous urban settings. With his work well-received in personal interactions and on social media, INKSAP has gone on to create more paintings of face masked children through this process. Discovering the streets serve as a more vital canvas than studio walls, INKSAP shifted his focus towards public artwork.
Based in Los Angeles, California, INKSAP has an expansive presence through his installations in Tokyo, New York City, Ho Chi Minh City, Budapest, Xi’an, Shanghai, Beijing, and Nantong. Over time, INKSAP’s work has evolved into exploring his Vietnamese heritage and the complexities of his upbringing. Brought up in a community lacking Vietnamese influence, INKSAP lost his cultural identity. It is through integrating moments of INKSAP’s family history into his street installations that he renews himself, visceral and emotionally bonding with the art.
“Long before I was recognized and commissioned, I found the streets more interesting than galleries. From overgrown plants to weathered buildings and smells, everything is alive in the streets. Over the course of a few days, you can see new art go up, and the next day it’s gone forever. The ephemeral nature of the city has taught me to work with this constant change rather than go against it. I learned to create works that grew with the plants, aged well on the walls, and last months for all to see what I see: the beauty of our city through the scope of art.
To display my vision, I find locations that complement the art. There are a lot of potential spaces for art, but the best places are the ones that stop viewers and capture their attention. Whether it was luck or my love for the streets, admirers began to interact with and share the art via social media. I’ve had so many joyous moments seeing strangers connect with the work, and even more when they preserve the installation for others.
What public art has created for me is the opportunity to inspire communities and bring people together. Every day I value the streets because they have given me my purpose, and my appreciation for this shows through consistent art installations. Undoubtedly there will be days I cannot install on the streets, but my artwork always finds a way because I believe in myself. Just like the impermanent nature of the streets, art will always live as long as you grow with it.”
On display for one week beginning 10.30.20
Helms Design Center at 8745 Washington Boulevard
All artwork is copyrighted work of the artist. All rights reserved. Images not to be used without permission.