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Connection to Culture by Ngan Ly

Connection to Culture

Ngan Ly

About the work

My self-portrait ‘Connection to Culture’ (2022) is characterised by a variety of symbols that represent my strong cultural ties to Vietnam, where I was born and raised as a young child. Vietnamese culture is represented by the traditional shirt, while luck is also symbolised through its red colour. Despite being Vietnamese, I feel I’m lucky to receive the education I do in Australia. The kitchen replicates all the herbs and spices that a regular Vietnamese dish would feature. My mother and I work in a Vietnamese restaurant and I have incorporated most of the ingredients found in Pho, a traditional Vietnamese dish. The direction of my eye, leading towards the kitchen, indicates my connection to and deep appreciation for that part of my culture. Despite my heritage, I am grateful to live in Brisbane because of the diversity of cultures here. I have lived in Brisbane for 5 years and despite my Vietnamese background it feels like home. As person who was born and raised in Vietnam, I am not confident with English but my painting is a clear visual representation of my connection to my Vietnamese culture whilst living in Brisbane.