Kintsugi is the Japanese philosophy of embracing damage and wounds. Kintsugi is mainly used to repair broken pottery and lacquerware by binding broken pieces together using clay and, ultimately, gold. These golden lines trace the path of fracture, of destruction, of injury—criss-crossing the repaired object. With these gold fault-lines proudly displayed, the intention of the craftsman is clear: that in this new state, this form is better and more beautiful for having experienced brokenness and gone through the process of healing and rebuilding. In many ways, my paintings look to recreate and piece together a reality that is based on grace, generosity, and beauty.
The New World revolves around the feelings of dicovery: discovery of a new land, of possibilities, of challenges, and of the promise of home.
The Journey series depicts the emotional landscape felt by refugees upon fleeing one life and the necessary hope to rebuild another.
The Transients Series explores the landscape of memory and family. Whether coming into focus or slowly disappearing, the imprint of our history will leave its mark.
The Boat People Series explores the relationship between personal identity and historical categorization.
The Refugee Pictures is the first series where I confront and own my Vietnamese American identity. This series came directly after my first trip back to Vietnam, 27 years after my parents and family fled the country.
The Divided Spaces Series explores the metaphorical lines that we draw in our lives: past vs. present; abstract vs. concrete; imagined vs. real. Can these seemingly opposite ideas exist in harmony? Can they resonate with one another? And can this coexistence be beautiful?
This is a collection of paintings that explore internal movements, where decisions and their repercussions are being weighed; the condition of being physically close and yet emotionally separated is recognized; and the necessary time to be alone is realized.