Tammy Nguyen was born and raised in San Francisco, California. Nguyen’s paintings, artists’ books, and works on paper often draw from natural sciences as a way to deal more intimately with the human condition through the representation of non-human forms. The artworks become new myths that can also reference flora and fauna depicted in the folkloric imagery of 19th century Japanese depictions of monsters, WPA murals, and children’s book illustrations. Nguyen now lives and works in New York City.
The artist states: “I am an artist who creates narratives with images and creative writing. My stories aim to be simultaneously seductive and unsettling. These bodies of work are manifested in many mediums including painting, drawing, printmaking, and artist books. […] Formally, I am interested in layering as a way to create space. In the past, I have created works that use the anatomy of birds as a proxy to explore my imagination of the Vietnam War. I have also created prose and images that combined the morphology of plants to Greek mythology so that science and myth seemed the same. Recently, I have been drawn to the history and current affairs around the South China Sea. To explore my interests there, I have worked with historical texts and drawn from the region’s animals and plants. My practice is an ongoing research endeavor where I learn about new things, combine facts, and redeliver them as fiction.”