about

How are resonance and dissonance marked by what an image tells us about the value of not just what we remember but how we choose to forget. What is visual language's ability to say something about  "quintessence," as defined by Aristotle, when he inquires as to the nature and existence of a void: "What is full cannot admit anything more else unto itself." 

How are the intersections of emergent technologies, social networking, and community shaping the image as recorder? What are the implications of composing a contemporary, electronically mediated life amongst distraction, distance, difference? For me, the documentary photographer is not recording or preserving a "truth" or accuracy of a moment; she's not quite telling lies. In images, she perserves her self. 

I’m interested in constructs of America as mythical mundane forces of both remembering and forgetting, trying to understand metaphors of belonging or exclusion, codes of leaving and arriving, erosion of certainties and corruptions of absolutes. How do images situate the simultaneity of time, of multiplicities of subjectivity, to interrogate tropes of memory? 

Inspiration
I am inspired by simplicity and contrasts, moved by the rhythms of American Delta Blues, soul and bebop music and the foods of the American south. They evoke for me where I am from, another South--Saigon, Vietnam--the spices, swaying rhythms and slow drawls that are sewn into my DNA. I’m also curious about the social landscapes documented by American photographers and others who observe America--its stories--with a lyrical, outsider's eye. I write poetry and essays, am an admirer of the poetry of Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, and the prose of Zora Neale Hurston. I never tire of listening to Nina Simone or Tift Merritt. 

Biography
I am Vietnamese American, born in Saigon in the late sixties. To know other as self becomes complex when the sense of self is perpetually in flux and other is self. I grew up in a working class home, in south King County, within a mixed race, bicultural family, with parents who intentionally removed anything but English in our home as a means to protect against linguistic bias. I am an immigrant who has become American, one curious about what that character or that identity may mean. I have been enculturated to America and its languages: English, pop culture, images, music. I'm at home in middles, the betweens of living, exploring a sense of liminality. 

I am Associate Provost at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle.  E-mail or telephone me to explore a project.