Pei-San Ng’s Flammable Matchstick Art

When Pei-San Ng made her first work from matches, Dollar, she noted how tempted she was to burn it. With every piece that she finished, the same urge surfaced. Eventually, perhaps taking Oscar Wilde’s advice (“The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it.”), she gave in. Ng is well-trained in the arts, holding an AA in Interior Design from Harrington College, a Masters of Architecture from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and even a BA in Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology from UCLA. She makes art out of matches when she can find the time. Click through to see more of her work, including what happens when you light ’em up.


Matches: Dollar

Ng says: “This is the first match stick piece I made and it was made for the Chicago Art Department $200 exhibition. This was a collaboration between Nathan and I. I wanted to make art with balsa sticks, specifically a skeletal framed apple. This idea came from my architecture model making days in school. I love making models out of sticks. With limited resources, Nathan suggested using matches instead of balsa. Thus began my matches series. With every piece finished, came an urge to burn it. This 7″ x 9.25” piece before it was burned, it was called Temptation. Eventually, I lit it and now it’s called Burned.”