Khang Pham-New’s monumental sculptures in granite are feats of stoneworking and artistry on view at Tesuque’s Glenn Green Galleries + Sculpture Garden.
Artist Spotlight: Khang Pham-New
Glenn Green Galleries + Sculpture Garden, Santa Fe
Khang Pham-New‘s sculptures are shaped by hand from solid blocks of granite. His sculptures are fluid, elegant, and full of motion. Khang is passionate about biomorphic forms—abstract shapes that have the feeling of something living.
Khang chose one of the most rigid and unforgiving materials—granite—to create his graceful forms. The stone’s interlocking crystalline structure does not easily yield to the stonemason’s mallet or the sculptor’s chisel, yet Khang’s artworks embody fluid motion.
Khang’s process is lengthy. Each piece can go through twenty angle grinders and thousands of circular diamond blades before it is completed. He begins finishing the surface with 50-grit diamond pads, then goes up to 300, then 1,000, and so on until he reaches 3,500 or more. “When you do that many steps,” he says, “that’s how it gets that ultimate surface.”
Born in Vietnam in 1968, the year of the Têt offensive, Khang knew conflict and war from his earliest years. One day, as he sat in his home in a village in south Vietnam, his uncle rushed in, told him to grab what he could carry, and to come with him.
Khang was eleven when he made a journey that many of his fellow countrymen never survived. Khang and his uncle arrived in a refugee camp in Malaysia together, but soon, his uncle left, and Khang was on his own. Khang’s luck turned when an Australian family living in Canada sponsored—and ultimately adopted—the young boy.
After high school, Khang attended the Ontario College of Art where he studied sculpture and sculpture installation. “We were trained to do busts, human figures, and all that,” he says. “But I never really enjoyed that. I enjoy the free-form, the abstract. I like something that is created from nothing—purely from the imagination into an idea that I can bring to life.”
Watch an interview with Khang about his process to learn more.