Ascending

Size: 36 X 36 in.
Oil and Pastel on Canvas



Current location: Toronto



Please contact the gallery for more information on this work.

"Similarly to In Praise of Shadows, Ascending plays with light and dark, but within a different context. Doves are usually seen as messengers of peace, love, and pacifism. Release doves are bred for their white coloration (doves are just pigeons with white privilege) with the intention to be released during events such as public ceremonies, weddings, and funerals. To watch these creatures freed and soaring is to be a hopeful moment. Unfortunately, many of these birds do not survive for long thereafter. These domesticated birds have no survival skills, and their white coats do not provide them with any camouflage in natural environments, which leads them highly vulnerable to predators. If they are lucky enough to survive the jaws of predators, they are likely to meet their ends through starvation. In 2014, the Vatican released two doves who were immediately attacked by a seagull and a crow as spectators gawked. It is a critique of the human desire to mold the world around us to fit our needs and desires without much consideration for other living things. Similarly to my previous works, there is also an emphasis on the power dynamics that are associated with being seen vs being unseen."

Nguyen's illustrative paintings employ a variety of techniques using oil paint and pastel on a canvas surface. Rife with narrative symbols, her dramatic tableaus sing with chaotic tension and humorous undertones. Painted in jewel tones and highlighted by soft-hued pastels, starkly contrasted by bold gestural markings, Nguyen's works are ready to hang framed or unframed.

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