Vietnamese illustrator Dương Giáp finds inspiration from a wide range of influences. His initial interest in visual art dates back to his childhood, when Japanese anime like Doraemon and Naruto left a deep imprint. As he outgrew these shows, a fascination with skateboarding and hip-hop culture took over, eventually steering him into the world of street art. During this time, serendipitous friendships with prominent Vietnamese street artists like LIARBEN and Zunk helped him develop his own artistic sensibilities. Today, while Dương is best known for his illustrations, he still enjoys spending his free time creating murals around his hometown of Haiphong, in Northern Vietnam.
In 2017, Dương was invited to take part in The Singularity Plan, a fledgling art platform in Guangzhou, China. The initiative, founded by Chinese illustrator Tony Cheung, invites emerging artists from all over Asia and presents an opportunity for them to showcase their work.
2017 年，Duong Giap 受邀参加了奇点计划，这是一个在中国广州刚刚起步的艺术平台。该活动由中国插画家张朝阳创立，邀请了来自亚洲各地的新艺术家，并为他们展示自己的作品提供了机会。
What makes Dương’s work stand out among his many talented peers is the way he plays with the contrasts in modern society. Throughout his work, he seems to tease at the friction between an encroaching globalization and the traditions that remain strong in Vietnam.
“I love joining street culture with Vietnamese folk culture, because they’re essentially totally different things,” he explains. “One has attitude and a strong personality, while the other is traditional and polite. Bringing street culture attitudes to Vietnamese imagery creates a contrast.”
Despite the positive reception of his exhibition at The Singularity Plan, Dương remains critical of his own works, especially his earlier illustration. While he invested a great deal of thought and time into his earlier pieces, much of the work was tainted by negativity.
“I used to be a negative person a year ago,” he says. “And I always found inspiration in negative ideas in the society around me, because I was struggling with my life. By now I’ve grown a lot. I’ve started living my life with more balance and trying to be a better person than before.”
尽管作品在奇点计划的展览上大获好评，但 Giap 仍会不断反思，特别对是他之前的插图。虽然在自己早期作品中也投入了大量的思考和时间，但在他看来，大部分的作品都被他在生活中所经历的一些负能量所污染了。
Some of Dương’s works have prompted criticism, while others have earned him mixed reactions. One piece depicting a school shooting was both lauded and attacked on social media. Compared to his more defining works like Let Yourself Go, this piece was much darker, as if it were an indictment of violence in society.
Concerned about spreading negativity to young fans, he eventually deleted the image from his social media.
“I was getting a lot of attention for making negative illustrations, so I kept making them, getting deep in it,” he says. “But then recently I had a chance to spend two months in Saigon. My experience there helped me change and made me want to be a better person. Since then, in this new phase of my life, I want to create more positive, light-hearted art that can hopefully inspire the next generation.”
对于他过去一些有争议性的作品，则招来了褒贬不一的评价。譬如其中一幅描绘校园枪击案的作品，在社交媒体上，既有人点赞也有人抨击。和《Let Yourself Go》（《放飞自我》）以及他的其它代表性的作品一样，这幅作品的风格更黑暗，就像是对现代社会的控诉。