Long Nguyen (1958- )

Title:''Tales of Yellow Skin #6,'' 1992 Artist: Long Nguyen 68" x 68" (172.72cm x 172.72cm) Created: 1992 Oil/Canvas Signed and Dated Farhat Art Museum Collection.

Title:”Tales of Yellow Skin #6,” 1992
Artist: Long Nguyen
68″ x 68″
(172.72cm x 172.72cm)
Created: 1992
Oil/Canvas
Signed and Dated
Farhat Art Museum Collection.

Tales of Yellow Skin: The Art of Long Nguyen

Nguyen’s paintings and sculptures communicate the trauma of a wartime refugee’s life in a graceful language of symbolic forms that ultimately transcend the limitations of their specific origins to become universal stories of human suffering and potential for renewal.

JoAnne Northrup, Senior Curator

The first mid-career survey of works by Los Angeles-based artist Long Nguyen will open at the San Jose Museum of Art on Saturday, April 12, 2003. Running through July 27, Tales of Yellow Skin: The Art of Long Nguyen, includes 15 paintings from his monochromatic “Tales of Yellow Skin” series and a major new sculpture, as well as 6 contextual paintings and works on paper. Nguyen, who has worked on his monumental series of paintings for nearly 12 years, arrived in the United States from Vietnam in 1975. On one level or another, the artist’s childhood memories of the war in his country are central to an understanding his work – his paintings tell a story of destruction, reconciliation with the past, cleansing, and rebirth.

For this exhibition, Nguyen has created a major new piece titled Boat, (2002­2003), which is 30-feet long, 3-feet wide and made of plaster and steel. Sectioned into five parts, which represent the five senses and five emotions identified in Chinese medicine, the sculpture overflows with a multiplicity of forms that reference human body parts, evoking the pain and suffering of transition from the known to the unknown, from life to afterlife. Monumental in scale, the sculpture will be placed in the center of the Skylight Gallery where it will be surrounded by the Tales of Yellow Skin paintings.

Born in Nha Trang, Vietnam in 1958, Nguyen and his family fled their war-torn country in the mid-1970s. After attending Christian Brothers College in Memphis, TN, where he earned a BS in civil engineering, Nguyen moved to California, where he received his MFA in painting from San Jose State University in 1985. Nguyen’s early work was inspired by prominent Bay Area Figurative artists, such as Nathan Oliveira, Elmer Bischoff, and David Park, and, while their influence is evident in Nguyen’s work, according to SJMA Senior Curator JoAnne Northrup, “the most profound attribute he shares with these artists is their belief in the expressive power of paint.”

In 1991, Nguyen turned his aesthetic focus to Vietnam and began his “Tales of Yellow Skin” series. The title of the series refers to a popular Vietnamese anti-war song, “Vietnamese Girl with Yellow Skin,” which tells the story of a young village girl killed by a stray bullet. The song describes the blood flowing over her yellow skin and expresses remorse that the innocent girl died before knowing true love. Inspired by the song, Nguyen elected to paint the series in myriad shades of yellow and began working on textured canvases with somewhat scattered compositions and rudimentary landscape characteristics.

 

Title:''Green Night,'' 1989 Artist: Long Nguyen (1958- ) 79.25" x 67.50" (201.30cm x 171.45cm) Created: 1989 Oil on Canvas

Title:”Green Night,” 1989
Artist: Long Nguyen (1958- )
79.25″ x 67.50″
(201.30cm x 171.45cm)
Created: 1989
Oil on Canvas

Nguyen’s vocabulary of recurring forms – water and boats, human figures, truncated heads, plant-like forms, fire, internal organs – has remained fairly consistent since he began the series. He frequently depicts the five organs of Chinese medicine: heart, lungs, liver, kidney, and spleen, which evoke the artist’s interest traditional Chinese medicine symbols. Each organ embodies a positive emotion as well as its inverse, and there is a direct correlation between the tangible and the intangible. The ideal is harmony and balance between all the organs, as well as a preservation of the vital life force. Nguyen’s interest in Taoist philosophy is reflected in another prevalent form in his work – the seedpod – a symbol of metamorphosis, transformation, and rebirth.

Tales of Yellow Skin: The Art of Long Nguyen is accompanied by a 56-page, full-color catalogue, with an essay by SJMA Senior Curator JoAnne Northrup and contributions by Elaine H. Kim, Professor of Comparative Ethnic Studies and Associate Dean of the Graduate Division, University of California, Berkeley; Laura Elisa Pérez, Associate Professor in the Department of Comparative Ethnic Studies, University of California, Berkeley; and Peter Frank, art critic for the L.A.Weekly in Los Angeles.

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Karen Sullivan

Title:"G. Cross #11," 1998 Artist: Karen Sullivan 43" x 55"109.22cm x 139.70cm) Created: 1998 Mixed Media/Paper Signed and Dated

Title:”G. Cross #11,” 1998
Artist: Karen Sullivan
43″ x 55″109.22cm x 139.70cm)
Created: 1998
Mixed Media/Paper
Signed and Dated

BIRTHPLACE: Oakland, California
EDUCATION: Humboldt State University, Arcata, CA, B.A. Degree

SELECTED EXHIBITIONS

SOLO SHOWS:
2009 Not What It Seems, Humboldt State University’s First Street Gallery, Eureka, California
2005 In Pursuit of the Invisible, Morris Graves Museum of Art, Eureka, California
2002 Art From the Heart Gallery, Ferndale, California
2000 “Shadow of a Doubt”, Evans and Willis Gallery with Frederick Spratt Gallery, San Francisco, California
2000 Frederick Spratt Gallery, San Jose, California
1997 Frederick Spratt Gallery, San Jose, California
1995 Frederick Spratt Gallery, San Jose, California
1991 Storefront Gallery, Arcata, California
1985 Candy Stick Gallery, Ferndale, California

TWO PERSON SHOWS:
2000 “The Curious Line”, Humboldt State University’s First Street Gallery, Eureka, California
1995 Two Person Show, Humboldt Arts Council, Eureka, California
1985 Two Person Show, College of the Redwoods, Eureka, California

GROUP SHOWS (Selected)
2013 “Sum of the Parts”, College of the Redwoods, Eureka, California
2010 Accident Gallery 5th Birthday, Accident Gallery, Eureka, California
2010 RAA Spring Juried Show, Award, Eureka, California, Debra Lahane juror
2007 National Juried Competition: Works of Art on Paper, LBI Foundation, New Jersey, Juror: Starr Figura, Curator, Museum Of Modern Art NY
2007 RAA Spring Juried Show, Eureka, California, Wanda Hansen, juror
2006 RAA Fall Exhibition, Eureka, California, Claudia Chapline, judge
2005 Rumble In The Humboldt, Accident Gallery, Eureka, California
2004 Melvin Schuler: from the Collection, Morris Graves Museum of Art, Eureka, California
2004 RAA Spring Juried Show, award, Eureka, California, Richard Shaw juror
2003 Small Works Invitational, Morris Graves Museum of Art, Eureka, California
2003 RAA Spring Juried Show, Eureka, California, Kenneth Baker juror
2003 Repertory Group Exhibition, Frederick Spratt Gallery, San Jose, California
2002 73rd Crocker-Kingsley Biennial Exhibition, Sacramento, California, Gladys Nillson juror
2002 “Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow”, Triton Museum of Art, Santa Clara, California
2002 “Storied Artists”, Frederick Spratt Gallery, San Jose, California
2001 “12 Days of Christmas” Invitational 12 Artists Exhibition, Morris Graves Museum of Art, Eureka, California
2000 Invitational Inaugural Exhibition, Morris Graves Museum of Art, Eureka, California
2000 “Truth and Lies” Invitational Exhibition, Triton Museum of Art, Santa Clara, California
1999 Sponsorship Monotype Marathon V, San Jose Institute of Art, San Jose, California
1998 Inaugural Exhibition, Humboldt State University’s First Street Gallery, Eureka, California
1998 Sponsorship Monotype Marathon IV, San Jose Institute of Art, San Jose, California
1997 “New Faces”, Vita Gallery, Portland, Oregon
1997 Christmas Invitational Exhibition, Humboldt Arts Council, Eureka, California
1996 Drawings, Realism to Abstraction; A Contemporary Survey of the Bay Area, Triton Museum of Art, Santa Clara, California
1996 West Coast Works On/Of Paper ’96 International Exhibition, Eureka, California
1995 Art for Life, Brookings, Oregon
1993 Twentieth Anniversary Invitational Exhibition, Humboldt Cultural Center, Eureka, California
1989 Humboldt County Exhibit, California State Fair, Sacramento, California
1986 Beyond the Redwood Curtain, City Gallery, Sacramento, California
1986 Invitational Show, California Museum of Art at the Luther Burbank Center, Santa Rosa, California
1978 Humboldt County Artists, Ankrum Gallery, Los Angeles, California

AWARDS:
2010 RAA Spring Juried Show, Award, Eureka, California, Debra Lahane juror
2006 RAA Fall Exhibition, Award, Eureka, California, Claudia Chapline judge
2005 RAA Regional Juried Show, Award, Eureka, California, Susan Hillhouse juror
2004 RAA Regional Juried Show, Award, Eureka, California, Richard Shaw juror
2002 RAA Regional Juried Show, Award, Eureka, California, Miles Inada juror
2001 RAA Spring Juried Show, Award, Eureka, California, Richard Reisman juror
1996 West Coast Works on Paper, Regional Juried Show, Eureka, California
1996 RAA Spring Juried Show, Eureka, California
1994 Redwood Art Association Fall Exhibition, Eureka, California
1993 RAA Award, Down to Earth Show, Eureka, California
1993 RAA Spring Juried Show, Eureka, California
1993 West Coast Works on Paper, Regional Juried Show, Eureka, California
1990 Womens Art Show, Juried Show, Eureka, California
1989 Redwood Art Association Fall Exhibition, Eureka, California
1986 Artists Society International Art Achievement Award, San Francisco, California

GALLERY AFFILIATIONS:
2004-2005 Limn Gallery, San Francisco, California
1993-2003 Frederick Spratt Gallery, San Jose, California, San Francisco, California
1996-1999 Vita Gallery, Portland, Oregon
1989-1991 Carter House Gallery, Eureka, California
1981-1982 Dana Reich Gallery, San Francisco, California
1977-1980 San Diego Art Museum Gallery, San Diego, California
1977 Ankrum Gallery, Los Angeles, California
1976-1977 Gumps Gallery, San Francisco, California

COLLECTIONS (Selected):
Triton Museum of Art permanent collection, Santa Clara, California
Humboldt Arts Council, Eureka, California

Phil and Sally Arnot, Eureka, California
Lynn and Gary Baher, Fortuna, California
Glenn Berry, Moonstone Beach, California
Mark and Christie Carter, Eureka, California
College of the Redwoods, Humboldt County, California
David Fraser, Mountain View, California
Sarah & George Kraw, San Jose, California
St. Joseph Hospital, Eureka, California
Dr. & Mrs. Ott, San Diego, California
Christine & Roderick Pimlott, Menlo Park, California
Ed Oliver and Melvin Schuler, Bayside, California
Ann & Michael Spratt, Saratoga, California
Beth & Richard Treitel, Mountain View, California
Delores Vellutini, Eureka, California
Eris Wagner, Eureka, California

BIBLIOGRAPHY
2009 review of “Not What It Seems” show,www.culturevulture.net, March 9, 2009
2009 “A Suggestion of Narrative”, North Coast Journal review, February 26, 2009
2009 “Whimsical Mysteries”, Times-Standard, January 30, 2009
2005 Eureka Reporter newspaper, interview, March 10, 2005
2005 Times Standard newspaper, March 4, 2005
1997 Art Week Magazine, Cover and Review, August, 1997
1997 San Jose Mercury News, June l5, 1997

PUBLICATIONS
2009 “Not What It Seems” (exhibition catalog) First Street Gallery, Eureka, California
2000 “KAREN SULLIVAN …shadow of a doubt and other runes” (exhibition catalog) Frederick Spratt with Larry Evans & James Willis Gallery, San Francisco, California
2000 “KAREN SULLIVAN The Curious Line” (exhibition catalog) First Street Gallery, Eureka, California

WRITINGS ON OTHER ARTISTS:
1991 Edge City Magazine, October & November issues, Art Criticism
1989 Arts & Antiques Magazine, December issue, “Manhattan Masterpiece” Stuart Davis/ Picasso Connection

TEACHING:
1980-1984 Art Supervisor, Eureka City Schools, Eureka, California
1980-1983 College of the Redwoods, Eureka, California