Photograph of artist Hop Dac sitting on a small white chair in his studio. He is wearing a brown jumper and block jeans and is barefoot.

I acknowledge the Wadawurrung people of the Kulin Nations as the traditional owners of the land on which I live and work. I pay my respects to their elders past, present and emerging.


I was born in Vietnam and came to Australia as a refugee in 1980. My family settled on the Western Australian coast, where I studied Fine Art at Curtin University when Ted Snell was running it, majoring in Printmaking under the watchful eye of Harry Hummerston. I did minors in painting, drawing, anthropology and creative writing.

I moved to Melbourne in 2002 where I eventually studied Professional Writing and Editing at RMIT. For a time writing and editing was my focus and I’ve work published in several anthologies (including Growing up Asian in Australia), and also in Overland, Peril Magazine and Kill Your Darlings. I worked in editorial roles at KYD between 2013 and 2016 and have had editorial roles with Paroxysm Press and Redbubble. I’ve been involved with the National Young Writers Festival, Emerging Writers Festival and Melbourne Writers Festival either as an event coordinator or panellist.

At the start of 2021 I resumed painting after a ten-year hiatus and went full time with my arts practice that November.

I live and work in Wadawurrung country (Geelong, Australia) with my partner and our two daughters.

artist statement

I am drawn to scenes in domestic settings and intimate public spaces. I flirt with realism, surrealism, the absurd and the sublime (in small scale), where I can explore the symbology of everyday objects and motifs.

Earlier this year I became engrossed with the symbolism of the bogong moth and its importance in Australia for different cultures. For First Nations people, the annual migration of the once plentiful moths to the Australian alps was an important food and trade source. White Australians speak about the migration with nostalgia, with their presence common around the floodlights of sporting fixtures and in suburban areas, when winds blew them off course.

I tied their symbolism to my experiences as part of the Vietnamese diaspora, who after the Vietnam War, moved in large numbers to different corners of the world. In the intervening years the diaspora has had to wrestle with issues around loss of culture and language, assimilation and the reconstruction of new identities.

I often use kitsch in my work, which while it appeals to a nostalgia for a former way of life, also serves as a time stamp for a time when the attitudes expressed towards Vietnamese people, and other minority groups, were different. These scenes allow me to tread, perhaps uneasily, themes of migration, pestilence, conservation, nostalgia and cultural shifts.