Vibrancy: Oil Painting

Artist Statement

My newest work is about the concepts behind the “offering table,” Sak Yun, and Kbach. Sak Yun is the ancient form of “magic tattoos.” A mixture of symbols and lines are pierced into the skin with sharpened bamboo, followed by chant and blessings. This provides many forms of protection. Kbach is a term for “Khmer Ornament,” which is described by patterning and gold embellishments seen in the artwork. The paintings are representations of symbolic offerings and spiritual power that are given to the altar.

The “offering table” is a highly ornate shrine that is decorated with statues, art, and flowers. While lighting candles and incense, one kneels to the shrine and prays to the Gods for healing, forgiveness, etc. After prayer and chant, one offers the Gods ritualistic items of beauty and purity. One of these items of beauty is fruit, a common depiction in my painting. Fruit is given to hungry ghosts and deities, in return for granted wishes. Giving fruit is an act of connecting to the spirit world and a reminder of how we must rid ourselves of selfishness and open our hearts and minds to others.

Jaz Chao is an artist based in Cincinnati, OH. Her work is a variety of paintings, drawings, and sculptures that are influenced by her upbringing with her grandparents, who immigrated from Cambodia in 1970 to flee from the Khmer Rouge. Jaz’s experiences have become characterized by a recollection of distant memories and abnormal occurrences which she still builds on today. Currently, Jaz Chao’s artwork has been on view in Bunk Spot Gallery’s Heart exhibition.