Processing of Affection
The struggle to chop the fish in Processing of Affection conflicts with her patiently stroking gestures and reveals an unspoken tension between this fictional character and her cultural beliefs of love. The marriage between Thuy and the cultural impositions does not continue with a polite dialogue but are interrupted by a progression into Thuy’s cruel
and disruptive actions.
© Nguyen: Processing of Affection
Thuý & Rice
Thuý & Rice portrays my responses to my Vietnamese heritage’s expectations and belief via a semi-fictional character named, Thuý. The act of sculpting a rice ball is a representation of her agonizing efforts to fit into these “traditional” expectations. The marriage between Thuý and the cultural impositions does not continue with a polite dialogue, but is interrupted by a progression into Thuý’s cruel and disruptive actions.
Anh-Thuy Nguyen’s ideal installation for Thuý & Rice video includes instructions for viewers to sit down on a white stool and press the play button to activate the video. Her intent is to dissolve the passive viewing experience and instead create a new active visitor experience. The experience is multiple—not a one way one. I ask my viewers to think critically and be aware of their interaction with my work: either by consciously deciding to not participate (by not following the instruction, activating the video), or playing a role within the work (by following the instruction and activating the video by themselves).
© Nguyen video: Thuy & Rice
Anh-Thuy Nguyen (b. 1983) is a multi-media artist, whose work spans from photography, video to performance and sound art. Her work highlights complex relationships and cultural conflicts resulting from the artist existing between cultural identities: Vietnamese and American. Nguyen’s work delves deeply into conflicting emotions, feelings, and thoughts through the portrayal of often strikingly strange, yet hauntingly beautiful manifestations of gain and loss.
Nguyen received her MFA in Photography/Video from Southern Methodist University and a BFA in Photography from the University of Arizona. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Photography at Rogers State University in Claremore, Oklahoma.