I was born in Danang, grew up partially in Thailand then Saigon. I have a B.A. from Wesleyan University, US, but have moved back to Saigon since 2009 and consider it my home and base here.
Having moved around from a young age has shaped the way I see things and question the idea of identity and belonging. From childhood I’ve relied on stories to find connections and continuation between various things and events. Working in the arts allows me to become a storyteller using a combination of words, images, sounds, and space. I was trained in woodcut prints, drawing and ink painting but since 2012 I find myself increasingly turning to the language of moving images. That even someone without any interest, or rather experience, in the arts can find some access point to moving images is important to me as I consider the audience an intrinsic part of the work.
For several years now, I've had the interesting experience of working with people in the field of health and science although my works carry few scientific visuals. I'm deeply fascinated when science can be used to explain or give structure to what was once mysterious and unknown. On the other hand, I am, perhaps, always trying to look at the part of life that science is looking at but cannot explain.
Some of my visual stories are simple notations of what I find amusing or meaningful. Others try to go into greater depth in my continuing quest to articulate our relationship with nature, and with intangible parts of life such as faith, death and dreams and how they influence our behaviour; changes from traditional ways of life to the current structure, and gender roles. To some extent, I am wistful when changes happen too quickly and abruptly, which is often the case in Vietnam and other 'developing' nations. In striving for global (often synonymous with Western) standards we lose many valuable ways of being and seeing.
B.A., Major: East Asian Studies, High Honors,
Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT, USA 2003–2007
Doshisha University, Associated Kyoto Program, Kyoto, Japan 2005–2006
Dec 2016 Skylines without flying people 3, TBD, Hanoi
PAST SELECT EXHIBITIONS
2016 Flat Sunlight, solo show, the Factory Contemporary Arts Centre, HCMC, Vietnam
2015 Project lead – Sacred Water, community arts project, Image Ark, Patan, Nepal
2015 A Site Between, Next Art Tainan, Taiwan
2014 Disrupted Choreographies, group show, the Carré d’Art Museum, Nîmes, France
2013 Foreign Bodies, group show, The Wellcome Collection, London, UK
2012 Voracious Embrace–the animal/human interface, solo show, organized by Sàn Art,
displayed at the Ho Chi Minh City Fine Arts Museum, HCMC, Vietnam
2011 Phong Bui’s “To HCMC with Love: A Social Sculpture”, group show, Sàn Art, HCMC, Vietnam
2011 Open Edit: Mobile Library, Asia Art Archive and Sàn Art, HCMC, Vietnam
2010 Let Momo eat cake, group show, Mino Washi Museum, Gifu, Japan
2010 Nested, permanent gallery, Mino Washi Akari Art Museum, Gifu, Japan
2007 Desire, solo show, Mansfield East Asian Studies Center, Wesleyan University, CT, USA
SCHOLARSHIPS | GRANTS
2015 AXA Research Fund – Outlook Project Grant
2014 Wellcome Trust International Engagement Award
2003 - 2007 Freeman Asian Scholarship – 4-year merit-based full scholarship to Wesleyan University
2005, 2006 Wesleyan Writers Conference Scholarship
2013 Gunpo International Art Residency, Korea
2013 Bamboo Curtain Studio, Taipei, Taiwan
2012 Oxford University Clinical Research Unit, HCMC
Part of Art in Global Health initiated by the Wellcome Collection UK
2010 Mino Paper Village, Gifu, Japan