WORK IN PROGRESS 'Exploration: Identity and Cultural Displacement'
My work explores identity and cultural displacement using my own history as a vehicle. Being an immigrant, I have experienced the shocking change of living space and environment directly effecting my life. This transition left me ‘homeless’; though living in a house, I couldn’t find my comfort zone. I felt isolated from the new cultural environment and even from my own cultural roots due to distance and cultural differences. I am attempting to express the ‘true selves’ on a two dimensional surface, as my paintings are an imaginary place where I explore and define myself without any limits. That imaginary place is also where the cultures come together and interweave, merge, and sometimes clash.
I explored the relationship between individual and community, raising a larger concern about identity, which is important to everyone. I investigating identity is a means of finding the balance between cultural beliefs and values in life. I want to explore how my identity and culture develops over a lifetime. At least at this moment, after five years moving away from my motherland, I interpret myself as a by-product of two cultures.
Moving away from representation, becoming purely abstraction, I created a transitional zone in which contains most of my emotions housing the metaphor for my identity. Figurative images are removed and replaced by the blank canvas suggest the idea of visible and invisible, everything and nothing. My pallet is limited to a range of value, large amount of black and white. There are no clear boundaries between them, those areas begin to blend, merge and fade into each other.
My paintings connect memory and reality, traditional and contemporary. I carry into my studio practice traditional Eastern art, incorporating the transparent silk as a traditional material to replace the canvas, inspired by the unusual orientation and format of historic Chinese wall painting. Quoctrung 'Kenny' Nguyen-Fall 2015