• JUser: :_load: Unable to load user with ID: 64

Back Talk with Tran Nguyen

Juxtapoz // Thursday, 18 Jun 2009

Vietnamese artist Tran Nguyen may still be in art school, but her portraits are already quite developed. Her surreal illustrations remind us (dare we say it?) a bit of Audrey Kawasaki's finely rendered works on wood panel. We didn't know much about this emerging artist, but after a peek at her latest works now on display at Thinkspace, we had to know more. Meet Tran in Back Talk with Tran Nguyen below.


How do you feel right now?


I feel as optimistic as Optimus Prime did when he prevailed in the first segment of his fight against his arch-nemesis, Mega-"Tran."


If you could wake up in a different place tomorrow morning, where would it be and what would you do?


Though utterly impossible, I've always wanted to ride on a Care Bear cloud that overlooks a lavender sunset filled with other floofy forms. I would then submerge myself in its floofiness, and contemplate on life and why smurfs are blue.

If you lost your creative skill, how would you see yourself making a living?


I'm actually not too shabby with making sound effects. Maybe someone will pay me minimum wage for coming up with weird, random sounds.


If you could punch one living contemporary artist, who would it be?


I wouldn't necessarily want to punch anyone but I wouldn't mind giving Andy Kehoe a love tap. I admire his work and its oddity.


Was your first kiss worth writing a song about?


Actually, the dude freakin' sneak attacked me without my permission way back in sixth grade. As I began to draw my fist, he ran off onto the bus. I hope you're reading this you insolent scoundrel!

At what point were you particularly happy?


When I found out that if the pace of technology advancement continues, there would be the possibility that men could bear children. I am utterly petrified of labor. I mean, if releasing large chunks of poop hurts, imagine a bowling ball.


No regrets allowed, but there must have been one?


I once let a stranger borrow forty dollars...and she never paid me back nor thanked me. I've sworn to never ever do another good deed again.


What trait do your friends have in common?


They're drug-free. You know, way back in elementary school, my classmates and I congregated to the auditorium to listen to someone speak about drug-free awareness. I remember being so baffled because I thought it meant drugs were free and legal.

If you had to evacuate your home or studio, what's the one thing you would grab?


My laptop, which contains all the visual records of my life as well as artistic journey. Plus, I am nothing without my art programs.


Greatest love of your life?


My family, who's never failed to be there for me. Oh, and my right hand. I'm contemplating on insuring it one of these days.


What is your favorite vice?


Sloth, indeed. No one enjoys elongated hours of drinking coffee more than me. It is my way of reflecting on the past day as well as procrastinating.


When you blow out the birthday candles, what do you wish for?


I'd wish for a paid tuition at SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design) which is approximately $40,000 a year for four years, which is almost equivalent to a luxurious Lamborghini or a kagillion BK burgers.


If you could play a character from a favorite film or TV show for a day, who would it be?


I'd want to be Marty McFly from "Back to the Future" just because he gets to ride on a hoverboard. I'm hoping I'll be alive once we're able to engineer such awesomeness.

Do you ever lie?


Name one person that doesn't, besides Jesus.


Do you think viewers understand the intent of your work?


I'd hope they would. That would be the whole point though I can't say my work is most direct. It does require further speculation. Of course, my intent is to also allow the viewer to come with their own conclusion.


What virtue can you do without?


Patience just because I dislike walking behind slow people. I sometimes fantasize about throwing them in a pit of gnawing Teletubbies.


Do you even notice when you're swearing?


Yes, I actually don't swear much since I find it a bit unwoman-like. I feel like one of those uneducated bimbos if every other word that's coming out of my mouth has to be beeped out.

What has been your proudest moment?


When I stood up to a kid who was harassing my brother in elementary school. Of course, he kicked me in the shin, too.


What would you like to be remembered for?


I'd like to be remembered for my dolphin call and midget thumbs.


How would you prefer to die?


I'd like to die the way Clint Eastwood did in "Gran Torino." Honorable and kick-ass. Pow pow!


More info on Tran Nguyen at





Full magazine features from Juxtapoz

visit the VAULT >