Artist: Tony Nguyen
Media: Metal BFA
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Dr. Maxine Merlino Gallery
During this week’s artist conversation of the week, I had the honor of speaking to Tony Nguyen, who sees himself as a metalsmith and is in his senior year at California State University, Long Beach. In regards to his artist profile, he is an illustration major in addition to having shown interests as a BFA metalsmith. He shared about his work on campus and also talked briefly about how manipulating metal is a difficult process. He is from Gardena and is a “5 and a half year” in his words, which he shared with a good laugh. Interestingly, the main means of his work and interests reside with painting, drawing, illustrations, and metal work, which demonstrates his range in skill greatly.
In regards to his work, Tony Nguyen aims to inspire others with his vision of the world through his eyes. He believes that most people underestimate the beauty and prestige of metalsmith work, as he shared that he believe it to be a very difficult, but wonderfully rewarding. Furthermore, with his work, he expressed his thoughts in a worldly manner of reflecting upon it. That, people are all missing pieces of their heart and wanting it to be put back, which he demonstrated in a symbolic visualization through his gum-ball machine artwork at the exhibition. His work was aimed to not only interact with the symbolic meanings of his imagination but also complement a people’s sense of wonder, as he found his works to be full of different and numerous stories.
In regards to my impression of his work, when I first took a glance at his work, I thought it was really creative and unique. It was not only colorful but also had a very classy feeling to it. Moreover, I found an even bigger connection to his work after finding out more about his background. In addition, he has a Vietnamese background, which I thought was wonderful since I am also part Vietnamese myself. We conversed about the funny idiocies and cultural tendencies of our heritage. With that in mind, I grew to enjoy the whole experience of visiting his exhibition even more so and am really glad that I had been able to spend time seeing his work.