Anh-Thuy Nguyen
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Anh-Thuy Nguyen

Artist Bio

As a Vietnamese-American artist, my primary artistic source material for the last decade has been my personal history and experiences as a female immigrant. Through my artmaking, I investigate my cultural and identity as well as my migration story through photography, video, installation and performance art.

I received a BFA in Photography from the University of Arizona and an MFA in Photography/ Video from Southern Methodist University. I have exhibited and taught photography, painting, linoleum, performance art, and concept-driven workshops nationally and internationally.

My works are in permanent collections of Amarillo Museum of Art, Tucson Museum of Art, Center for Photography at Woodstock among others. I was recently awarded the 2023 Second Sight award from Medium Photo and my work is on the front cover of Southwest Contemporary Magazine vol 6 recently published this August.

I live and  work in Tucson, Arizona, where I am the head of the photography program at Pima Community College.

Statement- A is for Alphabet

Originally conceptualized as videos, “A is for Alphabet” explores the struggles of mastering a new language, such as the difficulty with pronunciation and the discomfort of those moments. Here, the viewers hear a native English speaker, my collaborator for these video pieces, reading aloud words and phrases from A to Z, and myself struggling to repeat those words. This duet echoes the way in which I would practice English in Vietnam in attempts to master it. Surprisingly, during the continued act of repetition and performative articulations, words became meaningless, nonsensical babble, rather than building blocks for coherent speech. Both the English learner and the native English speaker became confused, and the meaning of the scripted words was muddled or lost, along with the language’s colonial power. This active undoing of linguistic dominance of the English language—the tongue of the colonizer—is an act of a decolonial practice.

The tight crop compositions force the viewer to focus on the movements of the tongue and mouth, while confronting the awkwardness of repetition and the ultimate breakdown of language.

In Vietnamese culture, we have a proverb saying: Li nói là bc” translated to English as “Words are silver.” To connect these videos with my Vietnamese heritage and native language, I decided to work with silver-based materials. A set of English alphabets is crafted from pure silver to symbolize the essence of the English language’s building blocks. A series of still photographs is printed on gelatin silver prints (the analog black and white prints, where silver halide suspended in a layer of gelatin on fiber-based paper, they are developed using the three-bath chemistry of developer, stop, and fixer). This series represents a moment when a word is formed and while its audible presence is absent, its visualization was recorded by the exposed silver on the gelatin silver prints.


MFA 2012 Photography/Video Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX (magna cum laude)
BFA 2010 Photography University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ (magna cum laude)
AA 2008 Liberal Arts Pima Community College, Tucson, AZ (magna cum laude)
BA 2006 EconomicGeography University of Social Sciences & Humanities, Ho Chi Minh City,Viet Nam

  Solo/ Duo* Exhibitions/Performances

2023 Thuy & | Robert F. DeCaprio Art Gallery, Moraine Valley Community College, Palos Hills, IL(scheduled)
2021 4×4: Four Artists Four Curators| Tucson Museum of Art, Tucson, AZ. Curator: Dr. Marianna Pegno
2018 Citizenship Project| Roland Dille Center for the Arts Gallery, Minnesota State University Moorhead
2017 A Shared Experience *| Amarillo Museum of Art. Curator: Alex Gregory
2016 [In]translation| Arts & Humanities Council of Tulsa Hardesty Arts Center, Tulsa, OK
Food of MEMORY| Living Arts, Tulsa, OK. Curator: Marianna Pegno
2015 Thuy & Rice| Living Arts, Tulsa, OK
2013 Thuy & Rice Performance| Tucson Museum of Art, Tucson, AZ
Encroaching Space*| Studio ONE A Space for Art and Activism, Tucson, AZ
2012 Anh-Thuy Nguyen: Ghost Towns| Mercantile in conjunction with Mc Kinney Avenue Contemporary,Dallas, TX
2011 Hair=Tóc| Doolin Gallery, Meadows School of the Arts, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX
2010 The Gaze| The 5th on 6th Gallery, Tucson, AZ
2009 Finding Places*| Todd Walker Gallery, the School of Arts, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
Anh-Thuy Nguyen Portraits| Todd Walker Gallery, the School of Arts, University of Arizona, Tucson,AZ
2008 Here I am in Tucson| Kachina Gallery, Student Union, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ

Selected Juried/Curated Exhibitions/Screenings/Performances

2022    Searching for Life: Regrowth & Display | Xavier University Art Gallery, Cincinnati, OH. Juror: BeborahBright

Dialogue | Yun Gee Park Gallery and Atelier, Tucson, AZ. Curator: Yun Gee Park

The National: Best Contemporary Photography 2022 | Fort Wayne Museum ofArt. Jurors: Charles Shepard, Amanda Shepard, Lauren Wolfer

Fragments, Facts and Fictions: The Cinematic Photograph | Holland Galleries,Reno, NV. Curators: Antone Dolezal & Tracy Fish

Future is Now: Skepticism, New Reality, and Infinities | Bandung Photography Triennale 2022,Indonesia. Curator: Asmudjo Jono Irianto

2021    December Film Screening | ACinema, Milwaukee, WI. Curators: Janelle VanderKelen andTakahiro Suzuki

Feminist Archive and Praxis | Office Space Gallery, Art Fair 14C , Mana Contemporary, Jersey city, NJ Curators: Albert Abdul-Barr Wang, Bryce Chatwin

Welcome to the Machine: Abstraction and Experimentation|Road to Bandung Photography Triennale, Indonesia. Curator: Henrycus Napitsunargo

VISIBLE: Asian and AAPI Artists in America| Ro2 Gallery, Dallas, TX. Curator: Susan Roth

2020    People & Portraiture| Shircliff Gallery of Art, Vincennes University, Vincennes, IN

Visual Arts Faculty 2020| Louis Carlos Bernal Gallery, Pima Community College, Tucson, AZ. Curator: DavidAndres

The Place called Home| Studio Montclair Gallery, NJ. Curators: Heather Carter and Mary Z. Scotti

Changing Social Discourses| Main Art Gallery, University of Texas-San Antonio. Curators: Libby Rowe,Scott Sherer

2019    The Shape of Stories| Goldmark Cultural Center, Dallas, TX. Curator: Du Chau