After a short figurative period, I oriented towards abstraction with a work of materials. I stuck elements on torn cardboard or canvas. Scraps of newspaper, corrugated cardboard, fabric, twine ... My colors were quite subtle beiges, grays and blues. I favored composition, which also turned quite around accumulations of squares.


I gradually introduced silhouettes, always with my collages, using pieces of my own torn painted canvases. Enriched recycling of an already enriched recycling.


In 2003 I went to Ladakh, Himalaya, northern desert region of India which dazzled me. The vastness, the colors of the désert, the atmosphere of Buddhism, monasteries colors: saffron, orange, red, carmine, some very dark. I came back upside down with a need to extend this serenity through my paintings.


This trip has strengthened my work on the square, very rejuvenating for me. The square in the square usually crossed through with a path to the center, also evokes a prayer wheel on its axis or a succession of windows or doors leading to a light. A form of introspection, with an opening in the center.


A few years later I saw this type of scheme at the entrance of the Angkor temples, it is simply the map of each temple. With their succession of doors, plans are like my paintings... with the difference that Angkor entrance is from the east the exit is on the west (horizontal). In the case of my paintings it looks like mostly a north / south axis (vertical).


After the serenity of the desert Himalayan and Tibetan Buddhism, I left three consecutive winters, a total of 10 months from 2004 to 2007, settling up my studio in Cholon, Chinatown, Ho Chi Minh City. The atmosphere is quite different: the crowds, noise, concrete colored plastics. I worked again the human figure, but this time more in number, with materials found on site.


Given that in Viet Nam it is impossible to escape the Tet (transition to the new year) and to the long preparations mobilizing all the country, it was inevitable that it happens on my paintings. I took interest in the lunar calendar that I attacked the shape literally, before understanding a little, but very little substance. Some of my paintings done there have the composition of a lunar calendar page.

Then I had fun working on the Chinese birth year: I introduced in my work characters rats, the year of the rat and buffalo the next year. As the buffalo is my sign, I staged on the canvas in the form of bufflette, which changed its name in the way: the Bubala the Bubalita who became my alter ego.


I was also greatly influenced by two trips to New York in 2008 and 2009 which have increased the presence of writings. First especially during the Obama-mania, with the shock of the city, tagging, colors everywhere, so New York City.

Words have taken since that time more importance on the canvas. They energize and emphasize my expression, but in my opinion should retain a graphic role, which is why I do not write in French on the canvas, hoping they are not too fast to understand, at least for me.


Acko, Les Lilas, September 2012