I Die Because
Exhibition: October 12 – November 25, 2015
Performance: Wednesday, October 14, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Artist talk and reception: Wednesday, October 14, 8 p.m.
On Wednesday October 14 from 6-8 p.m., while entombed in an installation of beaded curtains made of shotgun shells, Thinh Nguyen will lay in midair on a bridge made of a single horizontal bamboo rod. Inspired by the passion story of Jesus Christ's crucifixion, this exhibition is Nguyen's way of re-imagining his own resurrections (as told to him by his mother) from the childhood maladies of Polio, Malaria, and a head injury, after each of which he was pronounced dead.
After his resurrection at 8 p.m., he will be presenting an artist talk of his most recent work and current project called “Artist In Residence: Across The American Plains.” For this project he spent the past ten months traveling throughout the states, staying in strangers' homes connecting, and photographing his sleeping surfaces as a performative public intervention.
A few weeks earlier, Nguyen performed as The Saint of Painterly where he posed motionless for three hours in his installation “Composite: Trinity”, which comprised of three chairs, the seats and backs of which were woven with strips of discarded paintings by other artists; three framed wall objects, also constructed from painting remnants; and floor mats made of hand-sewn hexagonal remnants. The exhibition currently runs through October 11 at Offramp Gallery in Pasadena.
Also on August 28 Nguyen presented a two-hour spoken word performance where he read aloud an art history book backwards word for word while whiting out each word as he sat in a white school desk. The performance is called “White Out History” as part of a second installment of “Biomythography: Secret Poetry and Hidden Angers” exhibition at California Lutheran University on view through October 16th.
Nguyen is engaged by way of conceptual blending as a strategy to continue further critical and aesthetic transgression. He is literally interjecting his remixed work into art history, recycling materials and concepts while generating new perspectives. He considers himself to be a global artistic citizen.
Thinh Nguyen grew up in a rural village of central Vietnam that had neither electricity nor running water. He had no art supplies, so he would pick up sticks and tree branches to draw on the ground. At the age of eleven, Nguyen immigrated with his family to California, which gave him an open environment to pursue an art education.