My drawings and paintings document how I grew into my Vietnamese-American identity. In my work, I reflect on themes of growth, hope, and integration. These paintings combine Eastern and Western traditions of depicting nature to describe a space that is as much emotional as it is physical. These spaces, created through a combination of memories, photographic references, and my own imagination, mirrors the refugee experience of re-creating a sense of home.
With The New World series, I hope to evoke the feelings involved in building a new life in a young and innocent America. Contemplative and hopeful, these paintings share the emotive ethos of early 19th century American painters who went out to discover this new land. I correlate the American experience with that of my parents: Coming to America with 7 of their 8 children, I imagine their sense of awe, confusion, and hope during their search for ways to adopt, adapt, and grow. Ultimately, I paint the sense of peace and beauty that we all aspire to, whether native or refugee.