Paintings + Works on Paper by Thuy-Van Vu

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Artist Statement

With the passage of time, details of our individual and shared histories are filtered through processes of selection and circumstance.  What objects and images are enlisted to give us access to these past selves?  Artifacts help us construct and give credence to narratives of history, heritage or ethnography.  In museum displays, the most humble of tools can become talismans to connect viewers to a distant place or time.  They are also paradoxically rendered useless.

In many of these new works, I take as my starting point artifacts from museums and other repositories of material memory.  I also continue to depict places and things whose fates are uncertain, the neglected mundane, waiting for obsolescence.  Painting is a way to re-activate the viewer’s experience of objects and places that have been rendered inaccessible. These works relay the tensions that arise as formal strategies weigh against narratives that may or may not endure.

– Thuy-Van Vu, 2014