These texts were created in order to generate meaning and new lines of thought about the context of my work and Vietnamese natural lacquer. An ecphrasis is a literary exercise used to describe an art object, and as an ecphrasis, I hope that words will serve to bring closer the emotional experience of lacquer painting to those who have not had the opportunity to experience its surface directly. As painting, it is part of a history of otherness. For me, Son ta serves as basis of analysis to take a critical inventory or interpret the past issues of identity and memory, and generate strategies of cultural identity. In the era of globalization and virtual reality, if the qualities of territorial specificity, materiality and uniqueness hold any meaning, they are reflected in this substance.
In the context of Vietnam, I hope to create parallel readings that enrich how we may perceive this substance older than written history. Through my experiments with new materials, substrates and concepts using son ta, I want to insist on a methodological freedom that opens up new associations, connotations, and forms that make possible a polysemous type of lacquer painting on par with the richness of Vietnamese language. Vietnamese is a language made for poetry-- abundant in abstract concepts, turns of phrases, and symbolic associations-- but these qualities are not yet sufficiently reflected in lacquer as painting. I hope that by writing a different language concept concerning lacquer to undo or erase the burden of such dualities such as traditional-contemporary, urban-folk, high-art-low-art, interior-exterior that confine creativity in the way we think about this cultural resource. Easily lacquer Sơn Ta may be perceived as anachronistic, but its relevance for our time have not been fully explored.