Kenny Nguyen - Infinite Threads, on display in the Olin Fine Arts Gallery

Using deconstructed and
reconstructed fabric and paint,
 Kenny Nguyen explores the concept
of cultural identity, integration, and 
displacement. Born and raised in
 Vietnam and currently living in the 
United States, Nguyen sees the
 alteration of painted silk to a 
sculptural form as a visual second
 skin. These cut, torn, beaten, sanded,
 and layered forms represent the 
artist’s cultural transformation.

Kenny Nguyen lives and works in 
Charlotte, NC. Nguyen received a 
BFA in fashion design from the 
National University of Art and 
Architecture Ho Chi Minh City, 
Vietnam and a second BFA in painting
 from the University of North 
Carolina, Charlotte, NC.

“Infinite Threads”

Created: April 1, 2021  |  Last Updated: April 1, 2021  |  Category: ,   |  Tagged:

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.”