Hunger Makes Me

Size: 48 X 48 in.
Oil and Pastel on Canvas

Current location: Vancouver

Please contact the gallery for more information on this work.

The artist states "Hunger Makes Me derives its title from a 2016 article of the same name from Hazlitt by Jess Zimmerman. It is an article that has stuck with me since I read it five years ago. In the article, Zimmerman discusses how gender roles and societal mores condition women to become ashamed of their appetites and minimize their desires. This struck a chord with me because I definitely felt as if I had been raised to make myself both physically and emotionally smaller in order to always make room for others. Zimmerman writes, “A man’s appetite can be hearty, but a woman with an appetite is always voracious: her hunger always overreaches because it is not supposed to exist. If she wants food, she is a glutton. If she wants sex, she is a slut. If she wants emotional caretaking, she is a high-maintenance bitch, or worse, an “attention whore”: an amalgam of sex-hunger and care-hunger, greedy not only to be fucked and paid but, most unforgivably of all, to be noticed.” This mentality often leads to the belief that the ideal woman is a low maintenance woman—a woman with no appetite. She “finished what’s on her plate, declines seconds. (Zimmerman 2016)” She is always satisfied and satisfiable. The painting is a celebration of hunger, and hopefulness for human desire for abundance. The stockpot is on the verge of overflowing due to the bounty of meats and vegetables. For me, a great broth is the basis of many delicious and successful dishes."

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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