Arts in Context

Austin physician's creative career is just what the doctor ordered

Austin physician's creative career is just what the doctor ordered

Editor's note: CultureMap is proud to present the latest installment in our partnership with KLRU's documentary series Arts In Context. The series explores the process of creation and what it's like to be a working artist in the Austin area. You can watch more stories at

After years of medical school, Austinite Vy Ngo found success working as a physician. Despite her career, the doctor couldn't shake the nagging feeling that she needed to get back to her creative roots.

"Being a first-generation Vietnamese American, you have to take every opportunity that's given to you," she explains of the decision to stay in medicine so long.

Eventually, Ngo heeded the call and began painting. Using her many unique life experiences as inspiration for her work, Ngo crafts emotional, multi-dimensional pieces that deeply resonate with viewers. 

"What I found was that when you really think about your memories or your history or experiences in life, they're all really multi-layered, and it really fit with my process," explains Ngo. "A lot of my artwork is layered with lots of paint and details. What happens is certain details will come forward in your memory and some will fall behind and fade." 

KLRU-TV, Austin PBS is dedicated to telling stories that entertain, inspire, and change our lives. KLRU highlights what makes Austin unique — whether music, arts, or public issues — by creating and distributing award-winning original content. KLRU produces several series including Austin City Limits, Arts In Context, Central Texas Gardener, Decibel, and Overheard with Evan Smith. As a nonprofit educational organization, KLRU also prepares children to succeed in school and creates lifelong learning opportunities for all.

Vy Ngo
Vy Ngo is a doctor turned painter. KLRU/Arts in Context