In my work, I use nature as both a mirror and window to communicate who I am, where I’ve come from, and how I feel living in our world.
For the past 10 years, I’ve made a series of paintings called The New World which abstractly re-imagines the sensations felt by my parents when they fled Vietnam during the war and settled in America with 7 of their 8 children. These completely imaginary landscapes tap into a refugee’s feelings of hope, joy, and confusion---but these feelings are universal. Framed by nature, the paintings offer a space for the viewer’s mind to search, discover, breathe, and revel. It is a space to call Home.
My most recent series called Kintsugi utilizes the Japanese practice/philosophy of repairing broken pottery by rejoining the pieces together using gold. The newly repaired piece, proudly showing its golden scars, is seen as more beautiful for showing its history, resiliency, and its ability to be transformed from trauma. My paintings were directly inspired by the loss of my father as well as the state of our world: In our country, beauty, hope, and decency seem tempered and hard to maintain, and thus, the flowers are painted in black and white. The best of our ideals may seem broken and fractured but they can be repaired and re-made into a more beautiful reality. It is with this intention for betterment, for cohesion, and for gratitude for what we already have, that I make these paintings.