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Indepth Arts News:

"Han Nyguyen"
1999-07-25 until 1999-10-17
Museum of Photographic Arts
San Diego, CA, USA United States of America

On Sunday, July 25, 1999, the Museum of Photographic Arts will present work by local artist Han Nyguyen: in the museum's temporary home at the downtown facility of the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego. (MoPA exhibitions and programs are being presented at MCA Downtown through Spring 2000 while the museum expands its Balboa Park facility.) Han Nyguyen: In Studio is organized by MoPA Curator Diana Gaston in collaboration with the artist.

Born in Vietnam, Nguyen immigrated to the United States in 1975 and settled in San Diego. Largely self-taught, he mastered the complexities of studio work and printing through a few classes at City College and Grossmont College. His work takes place primarily in the controlled space of the studio, where the unlikely subjects of rocks, firewood and common plants serve as the starting point for his transcendent images, said Gaston. Most recently Nguyen has expanded his imagery to include his own body. Using a pinhole camera and long exposures, he creates self-portraits through gestures, utilizing his hands, feet, legs and torso as expressive signs of physical identity.

While the Gesture series reveals the artist's sensuous exploration of self and body, many of his images are playful, even whimsical, Gaston commented. One recent series, entitled Interiors finds Nguyen creating small rooms for his own miniature clay structures, some of them imitating the massive forms of Brancusi, others creating a simple domestic space complete with tiny bowls, oversized utensils and stools. He explores cultural cliches and the absurd fabrications of B-movies as readily as he takes on the lingering memory of ancestors and their presence in the landscape, explains Gaston. His is an intensely private photographic world - and one vie feel privileged to share with our San Diego audience.

Han Nguyen In Studio assembles more than fifty prints from all phases of the artist's richly varied production. The exhibition remains on display through October 17, 1999.


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