Water Feature V
The artist states "I came across an 18th century hanging scroll depicting Magu while researching Chinese mythology, which serves as the inspiration for this painting. Magu is a legendary Taoist deity who is associated with cannabis and longevity. She is a healer who cares for the sick, the poor, and the natural world. She is also a symbolic protector of women in Chinese mythology. In Korea, she is elevated from goddess to Creator god, her abilities extended to incorporate the creation of the world and humanity. She is depicted prominently in Chinese art, often bearing a bounty of fruit (often peaches) and flora. Chinese Taoists believe that Magu had a mortal upbringing. This painting looks to depict her likeness as mortal. Her vase is cracked and water spills from her, representing human grief. The faceless feminine statuesque figures in my paintings are meant to represent the futility of immortality, and how death is the great equalizer. Most of us will be forgotten - even those who can be recalled from centuries past are stripped of their humanity and reduced to caricatures."
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.