Since the monochromatic Blackboard paintings (2004), Nguyen has been experimenting with canvases of minimal color. Grey White Black is a body of work that shows the artist’s sophisticated use of the eponymous colors to create dynamic compositions that are full of introspection but are also playfully mischievous.
The city is very much present in these paintings. Nguyen was inspired by the pavements, the walls, the scratches and marks present in the urban fabric of Ho Chi Minh City. Unlike in his earlier, textured abstract works that were more somber where histories behind crumbling facades were highlighted, these new paintings seem to take viewers on a walk through a familiar city where tiny new discoveries are revealed.