Wk 10 – Artist Conversation – Tony Nguyen

Artist: Tony Nguyen

Exhibition: Scavenger Hunt

Media: Metal

Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Merlino Gallery

Website: eltigresite.wordpress.com

Instagram: elll_tigre

About the Artist

Tony Nguyen has been attending CSULB for five and a half years. As of right now he is deeply motivated to acquire a Bachelors of Fine Arts in metal. He wanted to  chose metals because he was originally an illustration major, in that major apparently the amount of work given by the professors are horrendous and it takes a lot of time and effort for the work to even look decent.Tony switched his major and focused all his energy on metals which is also what interested him the most.

Formal Analysis

The figures tony created are truly memorizing they are little and seem almost genuinely made decades ago. The lines are organic and the pieces soft-looking, as if they are made of clay, though really they are made of aluminum. The black finish is almost hastily applied to fill the cracks and make them stand out, further adding to the clumsy feeling of this collection.  Another collection consists of an armored glove, a crown, and a leather and metal arm guard. These pieces are much more ordered. The metal pieces are all the exact size they need to be in order to fit with the next piece. There is a feeling of great precision in this collection.. Another piece with a definite function was a piece of snake jewelry. It could be worn as either a necklace or bracelet. The braiding of the metal on the body took six weeks to complete, but the final product makes the production look effortless. The snakes also looks likes it has scaled made of silver. Since the metal is completely done it sort of glowed in the gallery. The metal was left rough and the edges kind of wavy to make the piece actually and literally look like rippling water.

Content Analysis 

There was so much detail in Tony’s  work, his piece as small as it is, had so much work and meaning hidden in it. The bridge represented the struggles that his family endured in the past. The story that lead Tony to create the piece was his mother’s story of crossing a bridge in Vietnam during the Vietnam war. She hesitated to cross and to leave her world behind, but just as she made the decision to cross and got across the bridge safely the bridge was blown up. If she had waited a split second more she, along with her family would not be where they are today. It shows how important family is to Tony and how they not only influence his life, but also his art. Each bridge represents a member of his family and the bridge was a made from each person’s toe print. The dark bridge is Tony’s bridge. Since he is the only person in his family that is an artist and is different from the rest of the family. The bridge also has the names of the family member who it represents on the back of the toe print.  They were pretty cool to look at and it’s amazing that he’s doing something that he loves. He mentioned that he got into art because he wanted to learn how to make toys, and how he would love to be able to work on movie sets creating the props for the scenes.

My Experience:

Wow, amazing art gallery this time. Tonys work this time was truly so unique, it caught my eye instantly. What was more interesting and crazy about his work was the story and reasoning behind his work. Just wow! the amount of detail and background context there is to tony’s piece is infinite. Im sure he and his whole family is very proud of this monument he created for him and his family. Im excited to see next weeks gallery.



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