"For me, art and life and the nature around me in the place I live are one... it's all inspiration for my art."
When Wayne Ngan arrived in Vancouver from his native China at the age of thirteen, he was encouraged to go on to the Vancouver School of Art. Although Ngan was especially interested in painting, he enrolled in the least expensive studio course, pottery. Graduating with honours, Ngan set up his own pottery and sculpture studio, began to teach, and gave pottery workshops. Later, he settled on Hornby Island, off the west coast of British Columbia. This move signalled a turning point in Ngan's development as a craftsman, since it established his dedicated commitment to ceramics and initiated the process of integrating his craft with his environment. Within this stimulating island environment, Ngan renewed his interest in his Oriental heritage, and began experimenting with raku pottery, salt glazes and Chinese brush techniques.
Preferring the spontaneity and directness of ancient Oriental pottery, Ngan studied in China and Japan and was particularly impressed by the pure forms and etched decorative surfaces of China's Song dynasty and Korea's El dynasty. On his return to Hornby Island, he adapted these pottery styles and techniques to his own ceramic vessels.