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Indepth Arts News:

"Darlene Nguyen-Ely: Evolution of Form"
2001-05-31 until 2001-06-30
Diane Farris Gallery
Vancouver, BC, CA Canada

Diane Farris Gallery is pleased to present Darlene Nguyen-Ely's third solo exhibition of her latest work in the Journey Series, an on-going exploration of the symbolic as well as spiritual aspects of transportation imagery. While Nguyen-Ely was mainly inspired by mechanical, aerodynamic forms in these earlier pieces of the Journey series, her most recent work shows an increasing interest in approximating organic-looking shapes and textures.

The artists lives in Monroe, Washington in a lush area that is surrounded by nature. She admits that she is influenced by the animal and plant life she encounters on a daily basis. These works, resembling cell-like structures, double helixes and other simple organisms, look like they could be diagrams in a biochemistry lesson. Yet through her painstaking craftsmanship, Nguyen-Ely continues to fashion her sculptures with smooth, sleek surfaces that embody a sense of dynamism and speed. These works can be seen as metaphors for movement and traversal, both in regards to the artist‚s prolific career as well as the continuation of her life journey.

Born in Saigon, Vietnam, Nguyen-Ely's work is informed by her pilgrimage to America which began in 1975 when she joined scores of other Vietnamese boat people seeking refuge from the war. After spending a year at a refugee camp in Hong Kong, Nguyen-Ely emigrated to the United States where she later received a B.F.A. from California State University.

Nguyen-Ely has exhibited internationally as part of WOMEN/Beyond Borders, which became part of the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Institute last year. The City of Everett, WA recently purchased Journey #33: Half Moon which is on display at the new Everett Train Station. Other achievements include a week as a visiting artist at Le Centre Interculteral Strathearn in Montreal, a commission for Rockwell International in Los Angeles, and for the third time she was awarded the Greenshields Foundation Grant Recipient.

Currently, Nguyen-Ely is mid-project on a Public Art Commission in Philadelphia, PA. Invited to participate in the New Land Marks public art project, she is working with the Fairmount Park Art Association and the Vietnamese United National Association to create a public art project based on Tet Trung Thu (the Vietnamese Moon Festival). As a contemporary interpretation of this traditional event, the work is the unique product of the confluence of cultures found in the Vietnamese-American community.

Carraero Journey #69
wood, gold leaf, acrylic
30x28x4 inches

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