“It’s within (Vietnam’s) dynamic landscape that the battle between socialist propaganda and capitalist marketing strategies is waged. It’s a working model of chaos and control, mixed with a little bit of confusion. Vietnam is a paradox in its political operation and its economic progression.”
Since returning to Vietnam in 2004, Tuan Andrew Nguyen has been making art that is rooted in the nation’s turbulent history often through the filter of its urban youth (sub)culture. The acclaimed Quiet Shiny Words (2008) project focused on the phenomenon of hip-hop in Vietnam. Working with young Vietnamese graffiti and hip-hop artist Wowy, Nguyen created a body of work that communicated the hopes of a young generation of Vietnamese to be part of a popular culture – a culture that largely still equates the country with images of a war that ended in 1975.
Born in 1976 in Vietnam, Nguyen immigrated to the U.S. in 1978. He obtained his MFA from Cal Arts in Valencia in 2004. Nguyen’s work has been shown in numerous exhibitions internationally including the 5th Asia Pacific Triennial and Koeln Show 2. Nguyen works collaboratively and in 2006 he co-founded the artist collective The Propeller Group. Along with The Propeller Group, his videos and films have been screened widely at international film festivals around the world including Rotterdam, Oberhausen, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore, Bangkok, Los Angeles, Chicago and New York. Exhibitions include The Propeller Group, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, traveling to Phoenix Art Museum and Blaffer Museum of Art, Houston, TX (2016); The Propeller Group: Fusion (After a Universe of Collisions), Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis, MO (2015); The Living Need Light, the Dead Need Music, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA (2015); A Universe of Collisions, Grand Arts, Kansas City, MO (2015); Residual: Disrupted Choreographies, Carré d’Art – Musée d’Art Contemporain, Nimes, France (2014); No Country: Contemporary Art for South and Southeast Asia, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, (2013); Yebisu Festival for Alternative Visions, Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Tokyo, Japan (2013); The Unseen, 4th Guangzhou Triennial, Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou City, China (2012); The Ungovernables, New Museum Triennial, New York (2012); Made in LA, Hammer Biennial, Armand Hammer Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA (2012); Six Lines of Flight, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA (2012); and the 7th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, Queensland, Australia (2012). His works are in the collection of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, Australia; Burger Collection, Zurich, Switzerland; Museum of Modern Art, New York; and Singapore Art Museum.