Mixed-media artist Quoctrung Kenny Nguyen, a native of South Vietnam, sees his art as a means tocapture the many transitions and transformations in his own life. These changes have taken him from his training as a fashion designer in Ho Chi Minh City to his BFA degree in painting at the University of North Carolina.
These days, he has combined his interests, working with traditional silk materials, paint and other media to create a colorful wall-hanging exhibit, titled “Infinite Threads,” with artworks that change shape with every pin and shift of the fabric.
“I just love the way fabric is constructed around the body, so whenever I sculpt a new piece, I really imagine there’s a body underneath the surface, and with the intention of using the push-pin, I can keep changing it over and over,” Nguyen, who was invited to W&J this past fall as a visiting artist, says of his work. “It’s just the idea of the transformation of identity – our identity is changing every day. It keeps changing all the time.”
The silk, he says, represents the cultural history of his homeland, which then is transformed by the layers of paint and canvas, as well as the push-pins.
Says Nguyen: “Painting becomes a medium that glues the two cultures together.”