Artist: Tony Nguyen
Media: Metal, Ceramics, Wood
Gallery: CSULB School of Arts, Dr. Maxine Merlino Gallery
About the Artist
This week at the art galleries I had the opportunity to meet the artist Tony Ngyuen. At the moment Tony is a fifth year student at CSULB, he is on the pursuit for a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Metal. Tony is from Gardena, while his parents are originally from Vietnam. He first started off his art career in drawing, then changed to painting eventually changing it again to illustration. He stated he was the first in his family to pursue in a career in art, and he is very passionate in the work he does.
Each piece in the gallery are on different stands, so you get to have a good view of each. There is a candy dispenser when you first walk in filled with empty plastic containers. Then there was another stand that had metal glove sort of speak, it looked like if it was meant for some type of armor. There was also a metal helmet, with giant type antlers hanging out. On another stand there was a giant necklace hanging off the upper body part of a mannequin. Also on this stand was little silver metal figures, that seemed like if they were children. Then there was also another stand that different styles of rings and a necklace.
Tony described the meaning behind his exhibition and he stated his goal was to allow the viewers get a nostalgic feeling, since many of these items represent his childhood memories. He stated how he wants to carry his childhood memories with him forever, he does not want to let them go. He created the vending machine because as a child this fascinated him as you had many options for just a quarter and a twist. With the piece of the necklace and the children around it, the necklace has four small bridges, two feet on each and one big bridge with four feet. Each of the small bridge represents Tony’s brothers and their journey of life. The big bridge was to represent his parents. Tony explained that in his parents’ hometown in Vietnam, there was a war going and there was only one way of getting out of town on a bridge.
When I first stepped into the exhibit, I enjoyed to see all the metal pieces. They were all detailed and carefully put together. When getting to learn the background on each piece, it made more sense on the meaning behind the exhibit. Tony did an excellent job on getting his point across on his work. Each thing you could see the time and effort he spends on making it and you could really understand the history behind the pieces.