- Rupture 1
- Crack 9
- Crack 10
- Wonder 2
- Wonder 4
- Chair 1
- Chair 2
Mother - Artist Statement
My paintings explore the intimate relationship between mother and child. My own profound experience of my mother’s love inspires me to paint this subject.
I was born and raised in a small family. As the only child and the only grandson, I have been nurtured with diligent care, unsurpassed patience, and abundant wisdom from both my grandmother and my mother. Their love became even more apparent and intense when my Dad was sent to re-education camp immediately after the Vietnam War. I still remember the soothing voice of my grandmother lulling me to sleep on a mid-summer day. I can still recall my rebellious teenage years, which were tempered and assisted by the constant sacrifices and the persistent encouragement of my mother. These two women not only loved me unselfishly but were also immeasurably strong, wonderfully intelligent, and unbelievably hard working.
My grandmother and mother were part of generations which lived through the wartime of Vietnamese history. Their heroic characters arise within this painful context. Vietnamese political, cultural, and social circumstances have devastated their lives in many heartbreaking events. They faced numerous tragedies, fluctuations, and challenges including dislocation, cultural differences, language barriers, compromised social status and health problems. Although they endured these various traumatic experiences and suffered tremendous loses, their love for their children never wavered. Faithfully and courageously, they poured out their love and their sacrifices to open up possibility and hope for the next generation.
Throughout many centuries, varieties of painting masters have been inspired to capture the special bond of mother and child in their work. I want to continue this tradition- and in a unique way, to portray this intimate mother and child relationship through the lenses of my Vietnamese cultural background.
To reflect the gentle and everlasting love of a mother in the midst of life’s chaos and suffering, I have utilized different brushstrokes, various color palettes, and multiple perspectives in an attempt to provide viewers with diverse visual interests and to compel the viewers to experience the deep emotional and profound love of the mother.
Through these paintings, I hope to illustrate the simple and penetrating beauty of the Vietnamese women whose lives have always been a symbol of unselfish love and enduring strength to the younger Vietnamese American generation.
My paintings explore the intimate relationship between mother and child. My own profound experience of my mother’s love inspires me to paint this subject.Read more...
Transformation - Artist Statement
The inspiration of this work comes from Vietnamese straw hats. Vietnamese farmers, peasants, workers, and women wear these simple objects to protect them from the hot sun and the tropical rain. The hat is a strong symbol for my cultural belonging. As I learn more about the language of painting, the form of the conical hat becomes more abstract and takes on greater meaning. These works result from the transformation of how I understand about the complexity of my cultural root and learn to resolve them through artistic expressions.
Transformation is a process using the material substance of paint to touch reality and journey deeper into human and spiritual values, transcending the mundane to sense and communicate the wonder and beauty of life.
The inspiration of this work comes from Vietnamese straw hats. Vietnamese farmers, peasants, workers, and women wear these simple objects...Read more...
Creation - Artist Statement
My paintings take the imagination of viewers to the first moment of creation. It was the split second moment when eruption/disruption took place and from there on the space opened endlessly. It was the moment when a strange "dark energy” rushed spirally in darkness and the deep. It was the moment of something rather nothing. I hope these paintings provide viewers a glimpse of mediation about the very first moment of beginning.
My paintings take the imagination of viewers to the first moment of creation.Read more...
Space in-Between - Artist Statement
When two different entities come to interact with each other, a potency lies within the spaces that are in-between. The difference between these entities creates vital tensions and suspension of ambiguity. The dynamic interactions of the difference and potency of the space of "in-between” inspire me to create my work.
Exposing the space "in-between” reveals a deeper understanding about the complex, incomplete, and unsteady reality of human nature. Revealing these suspended spaces suggests that there is no such thing as fixed boundaries, extreme difference, hierarchy, or purity in race, ethnicity, or culture. Fluidity, dialogues, and exchanges are part of the nature of interaction. Translation and negotiation become necessary during their vital encounter. Hybridity is a sure path to transformation.
To represent this dynamic interaction, I use biomorphic forms in my paintings. These natural organic forms are embedded in the visible brushstrokes of texture, yet the forms also suspend and integrate with their surroundings, thereby creating a sense of movement. They have a sense of an illusion of space but still reflect the two-dimensional surfaces on which they are painted. These organic forms vary in composition in order to create dynamic spaces for visual interaction. The precise ways in which these binary forms interact now symbolically rely on the viewer’s perception.
When two different entities come to interact with each other, a potency lies within the spaces that are in-between.Read more...
Crack - Artist Statement
A narrow break
An opening A sharp cut
A revelation of the mystery
A split second
A new beginning
Wide bright wings
A stunning transformation
A trembling opportunity
A narrow break...Read more...
Wounds - Artist Statement
I painted wounds to depict beauty in vulnerability and brokenness.
These paintings enfold the grotesque, deformed, contorted look of wounds,
yet through the ruptured and punctured appearance, the beauty of their tenderness and fragility emerges.
My desire is to point one’s sensitivity to the brokenness,
open the viewers’ sense of compassion and understanding,
and inspire them to perceive beauty in the most unexpected and unimaginable.
I believe that vulnerability has the power of transformation.
I painted wounds to depict beauty in vulnerability and brokenness...Read more...
Lời Ru - Artist Statement
"À ơi, à ơi
Cháu tôi buồn ngủ buồn nghê
Buồn ăn cơm nếp cháo kê thịt gà
Buồn ăn bánh đúc, bánh đa
Củ từ, khoai nướng cùng là cháo kê"
Tôi vẫn còn nhớ lời ru trầm bổng của bà ngoại đưa tôi vào giấc ngủ êm đềm giữa buổi trưa hè. Tiếng ca thiết tha vẫn vương vấn trong ký ức và dõi theo tôi qua bao năm tháng. Và tôi nhận ra rằng tiếng ru ngàn đời của người Việt Nam là âm thanh yêu thương thì thầm gần gũi của Thiên Chúa. Tiếng yêu mầu nhiệm cao siêu này đã ở với tôi trong nhiều khoảnh khắc của cuộc sống, đã đồng hành, nuôi dưỡng, giúp đỡ và hướng dẫn tôi trở nên con người đích thực.
Lời ru của tuổi ấu thơ là tiếng à ơi đu đưa theo chiếc võng con con. Lời ru trong thuở thiếu thời là những bảo ban ân cần của mẹ, là nguồn động lực thúc đẩy tôi tìm theo đường mến yêu để đáp trả lời mời gọi của Thiên Chúa. Lời ru của tuổi trưởng thành là lời khuyến khích của bố đã giúp tôi khám phá ra khả năng sáng tạo Chúa ban để đem tin yêu và hy vọng tới những người tôi phục vụ. Xuyên qua đời sống thường ngày, tôi cảm nghiệm được rằng lời ru là tình yêu cao vời của Thiên Chúa, nó được thể hiện rõ nét nhất qua những hy sinh tần tảo cao thượng của người thân nhất trong gia đình.
Những tác phẩm “Tình Mẫu Tử” này hy vọng thay lời tôi thốt lên lòng tri ân và cảm tạ đến với Thiên Chúa đã nuôi dưỡng tôi trong suốt hành trình làm người, đặc biệt đến những phụ nữ Việt Nam đã tần tảo hy sinh lao nhọc cả đời để hé mở cánh cửa tương lai cho thế hệ sau.
À ơi, à ơi. Cháu tôi buồn ngủ buồn nghê...Read more...
Rupture - Artist Statement
To rupture is the process of breaking open or bursting. This process is manifested in both moral and aesthetic experiences. In everyday life, a rupture can be a transformative moment of well-formed moral character. A social rupture can catalyze and bring forth a process of cultural revolution. In art, rupture provides an aesthetic experience in the form of primordial force. I encapsulate this invisible force through manipulated texture and paint color. The primordial unleashes and exerts itself on the surface of the canvas in multiple orientations and directions. The construction of this force remains elusive, ungraspable, maybe strange, or bizzare, perhaps even malformed or downright broken. I want my paintings to be a true encounter which discloses something that remains beyond, incomprehensible and unassimilable.
To rupture is the process of breaking open or bursting...Read more...
Wonder - Artist Statement
Wonder series is about capturing the illusive life-force energy. I harness its power through pulsating edges, atmospheric color and invigorated texture. From the pull of polarity, out of a foggy background and muddy condition, and through a concealing and revealing process emerges a distillation of form. Within an organic and ruptured surface appears an imprint of brokenness and sense of wonder. I hope my paintings become vessels for contemplation and windows opening to mystery as well as allow viewers to enter into a meditative space and come into contact with the sublime.
Wonder series is about capturing the illusive life-force energy...Read more...
Sculpture of St. Clare - Artist Statement
I portray the Poor Clare in a moment of prayer as she listens to God’s will. This is at the moment that she decides to renounce worldly desires to follow God and the example of Saint Francis of Assisi. The sculpture depicts Saint Clare stands yearning toward God. One hand opens to receive God’s grace, and the other touches her heart as a sign of humility. After all, her gesture carries the movement of spiritual desire as she prepares to devote her entire life for the sacred call.
I portray the Poor Clare in a moment of prayer as she listens to God’s will.Read more...
The Crucifix - Artist Statement
This crucifix wants to capture the central concept of Christian faith- the paschal mystery which entails the passion, death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. The work depicts an in-between moment when Christ is dying and rising at the same time. This moment is displayed visually in the composition and texture of the corpus. Outstretched arm of Christ shows more a sign of blessing than pinning; drooping head provides a downward gaze; his textual body suggests that it is in a process of remaking; and especially his pose seems like he is flying.
This crucifix wants to capture the central concept of Christian faith...Read more...
Chair - Artist Statement
Chairs are among the most ordinary objects in our daily lives. Various types of chairs serve a variety of functions including personal usage, social motive, religious intention and political purpose; for example, stool, recliner, bench, cathedra, and throne. This common piece of furniture also expresses the wealth and status of the owners in its materials and ornamentations. The chairs of kings, queens, high ranking and wealthy people use more embellishments and expensive materials than chairs used by the poor. Far beyond their practical use to rest our bodies, chairs also have symbolic meanings of authority, domination, autonomy and power in a social structure. A chair can become a potent symbol that lures and entices people who look for prestige and power.
In the artistic world, the chair has been used in art and as art. The rustic chair in yellow that Vincent van Gogh painted in 1888 has moved many viewers’ hearts throughout generations by his compassionate brushstrokes. The Bicycle Wheel consisting of a bicycle fork with front wheel mounted upside down on a wooden stool by Marcel Duchamp has changed the art world by initiating the movement of conceptual art and opening the direction of art making from readymades. The electric chair which the pop artist Andy Warhol used in 1967 draws attention to the horror of capital punishment/execution and is an indictment of the system.
Although chairs have been used and depicted in the artistic world, their symbolic powers in the social world have not been explored as often. My sculpture project aims to explore the relationship between the chair and its symbolic power. Carving chairs from plaster allows me to highlight and reinterpret the symbolic meaning of the chairs. By carving them in small sizes, 5x5x10 inches, I re-contextualize the power that the chair represents by providing beholders a viewpoint of observance and reflection rather than absorption. Through these aesthetic objects, I want to make social and political comments on the hidden power at play in our daily activities. The awareness is not so much to be free from the powers, but to free the powers for relationship, empowerment, collaboration, unity and common good.
Chairs are among the most ordinary objects in our daily lives...Read more...
TRUNG PHAM, MFA
Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley, CA, 2012
Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley, CA, 2011
Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY, 2006
Drawing & Painting with a secondary field in Sculpture
Loyola University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, 2000-2003, Philosophy
School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL, 2001-2003 Studio Art
University of California Los Angeles, 2000, Chemical Engineering.
The People’s Choice Award, "Chair 1" White River Valley Museum, WA
Grace and Walter Byron Smith Scholarship, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Community Art Project, Redmond Arts Festival, WA
The Institute for Catholic Thought and Culture Faculty Research Grants, Seattle University, WA
The Endowed Mission Fund for Advancing the Jesuit and Catholic Mission, Seattle University, WA
ARTIST IN RESIDENCE
Grunewald Guild, Leavenworth, WA
Fuller Theological Institute, Seattle, WA
"Rupture Wonder" Art Space Vincennes LLC, Vincennes, IN.
"Imprint of Mercy" St. James Cathedral, Seattle, WA
"Wound" Fuller Institute Gallery, Seattle, WA
"Cityscape" VALA Art Center, Redmond Town Center, WA
"Loi Ru" Catholic Center, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
"Crack" Kinsey Gallery, Seattle University, Seattle, WA
"Mother" Asian Pacific Heritage Gallery, Seattle, WA
"On Capturing Transient Bodies" Artwest Gallery, Seattle, WA
"Healing Through Art: A Collaborative Exhibition" Paul Robeson Galleries, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, Newark, NJ
"VALA Springtime Show" VALA Art Center, Redmond Town Center, WA
"2015 Small Works, Big Presents" White River Valley Museum, Auburn, WA
"Faculty Show" Kinsey Gallery, Seattle University, WA
"VALA Springtime Show" VALA Art Center, Redmond Town Center, WA.
"Pop-Up Exhibition" Yorck Studios, Berlin, Germany
"Wonder" The Golden Thread Gallery, West Hartford, CT
"Interactive" VALA Art Center, Redmond Town Center, Redmond, WA
"2014 Small Works, Big Presents" White River Valley Museum, Auburn, WA
"The Seattle Sketchbook Show" Gage Academy, Seattle, WA
"Spiritual Practice: Meditation on Faith" Manresa Gallery, University of San Francisco, CA
"2013 Small Works, Big Presents" White River Valley Museum, Auburn, WA
"Creation" St. James Cathedral Chapel, Seattle, WA
"East Side Fine Art Abstract Show" Seattle Design Center, Seattle, WA
"Faculty Show" Kinsey Gallery, Seattle University, WA
WORKSHOPS AND LECTURES
"What’s New in the Arts?" The Alumni Seminar Series Spring 2015, Seattle University, WA
"The Ultimate Meaning of Extreme Beauty" Ultimate Reality and Meaning Biennial 2015, University of Toronto, Canada
"Extreme Beauty: Experiencing God Through Art" Crossroad Lecture Series, Portland, OR
"Power of Hybridity" UNAVSA-12 Conference (The Union of North American Vietnamese Student Associations), Seattle, WA
Fifth International Conference on the Image, "Original Artwork in the Digital Era" Freie Universitat, Berlin, Germany
(trans)FORMATION Worship Conference, "Transforming Beauty" The Arts and The Renewal of Christian Imagination, Fuller College, Seattle, WA
Colleagues in Jesuit Education, An Approach to Visual Art at Seattle University, "Extreme Beauty" Seattle, WA
The International Conference of social Theory, Politics and the Arts (STP&A Conference), "Original Artwork in the Digital Era" Seattle, WA
Artist’s Discussion: “Spiritual Practice: Meditations on Faith,” University of San Francisco, CA
"The Chapel of St. Ignatius, Seattle University: A Gathering of Different Lights", Sculpture Review, Winter 13 vol. LXII No.4, 2014
WORKS IN EXHIBITION CATALOGUES
"Spiritual Practices: Meditations on Faith, The Manresa Gallery", San Francisco, CA
"Creation, An Exhibit in the Cathedral Chapel", April-June 2013, St. James Cathedral, Seattle, WA
"CoCa Collision, Center on Contemporary Art", Seattle Georgetown Gallery, Seattle Design Center, WA
"Who Are You? 2014 CoCA Members’ Show", Seattle Georgetown Gallery, Seattle Design Center, WA.
REVIEWS AND WORK MENTIONED (PUBLICATIONS & MEDIA)
Klaas, Mark. "Priest, Teacher and Artist Shape Winning Entry", Auburn-Reporter, Dec 17, 2015
Beckmann, Annie. "Sacred Sculptures", The Commons, Seattle University online publication, May 15, 2013
Hanvey, James. "The Re-Composition of Place: Theological Reflections on Spiritual Practices", News of University of San Francisco, February 14, 2013
Sindelar, Becky. "Spiritual Practices: Art Exhibit Showcases Works of Four Jesuit Artists", National Jesuit News, April 10, 2013
News & Events
"Healing Through Art"
January 29th - July 30th, 2015
Thursday January 29th, 2015 @5pm-7pm
Paul Robeson Galleries, Rutgers University
350 Dr Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard, Newark, New Jersey, 07102
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On Capturing Transient Body
January 15th - March 7th, 2015
Thursday February 26, 2015 @6pm-9pm
4711 California Ave SW Seattle, WA 98116
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March 4th - April 11th, 2015
Friday March 6, 2015 @6pm
VALA Art Center
16409 NE 74th St, Redmond, WA 98052
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