Trong Gia Nguyen
QF Gallery, 98 Newtown Lane, East Hampton
July 21-29, 2012
Opening reception Saturday, July 21, 6 - 8 p.m.
QF Gallery is pleased to present Trong Gia Nguyen’s solo exhibition Cracked Haus. The show is a selection from Nguyen’s broad range of works representing whimsical interruptions – literary, visual, conceptual. Nothing is quite what it appears, and the narrative gone awry is the only constant.
Each work in Cracked Haus contains some form of “stoppage and passage,” whereby a second take is generally demanded of the viewer. Viewers enter the space and are immediately confronted, if they look up, by a ceiling cake dangling from the ceiling, on the verge of dropping. Made of acrylic paint, the cake bears the inscription Eat Shit.
At once playful and menacing, Nguyen’s dark brand of humor festoons many of the other works as well. Two upside down paper grocery bags pinned to the wall face each other with a repeated cross pattern cut out of the countenancing sides. Titled Portable Confessionals, the work invites viewers to sit on the bench beneath the bags and stick their heads in, mimicking the dubious aspects recycled, readymade religion while also referencing anonymous, amorous encounters. Here, ugly rears its head in humorous conflict to simultaneously the oppressor and oppressed. Similarly, St. Sebastian is dartboard shaped like Botticelli’s depiction of the martyred saint, by way of an arrowed assassination. Nguyen playfully invites viewers to take aim and re-examine their own sadistic, human tendencies.
In addition to sculpture, painting, photography, and a book object, Nguyen is also showing some of the tomes from his Library series, small clear mylar packets containing works of literature written word for word on grains of rice. Among others, all ten of Rainer Maria Rilke’s “Letters to a Young Poet” are poetically displayed on the wall, like an alternative bookshelf of sorts.
Trong Gia Nguyen was born in Saigon, Vietnam and lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. He has had solo shows at Coleman Burke Gallery (New York, 2011), Galerie ZK (Berlin, 2010), Galerie Quynh (Ho Chi Minh City, 2009), and Fruit & Flower Deli (New York, 2008). Group exhibitions include The Sixth Borough (Governors Island, 2010), Sequences (Iceland, 2008), 9th Havana Biennial (Cuba, 2006), and Performa 05 (New York). Nguyen has received grants from the Museum of Contempory Arts and Design, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Harvestworks Digital Media Center, Bronx Museum of the Arts, and Puffin Foundation.