Parking Lot is our lax interview series where we get to really know an artist, designer and other creative types. We get to learn about their current work and some random facts about them and some telling ones too. In our first edition, we recently meet up with artist/designer Nancy Nguyen to learn a bit about what she thinks of the color pink, her tips for online dating, what she thinks is overrated and the highs and lows of putting up a one-person show.
"I’ve always been making work through a graphic design sensibility even throughout school so the work wasn’t personal until I started on a project where I had to ask myself what I was interested in, and why. And that led me into making a whole new way of working. It was kind of difficult at first to bring the design aspect into making conceptual work. Design work is more thinking about the client and solving a problem and with “fine art” you are asking and creating questions. I’ve been interested in using both ways of working but there’s a this weird separation between the two which sucks that it exists. Design is viewed as one thing and fine art is viewed as another thing but I think they feed off each other."
Courtesy of Artist
Public Parking: how do you think your work has changed or improved ever since you've been out of school last couple years
Nancy Nguyan: I feel like it changed drastically. I would have never had the courage to actually create books and wall installations before going into school. I always thought I was going to be safe behind my computer screen.
PP: what does the color pink mean to you?
NN: Flesh, perversion.
PP: What do you think of gloss? thumbs up or down?
NN: Thumbs down i think?
PP: I feel like looking at the title [Cyber Sensuality] and the images in your show, you might have some fun facts about online dating to share so go ahead...
NN: Selfies are the tell all but there is a such a thing as too many bathroom mirror pics.
Courtesy of artist
PP: Who is a new-ish creative you are currently excited about?
NN: Elevator Teeth. He works with risograph printing and that's something I've recently taken up a lot of interest in. His aesthetic and sense of empathy and fun towards things is very poetic to me. His work is also simple and readable which makes me feel welcomed.
Work by Elevator Teeth
PP: Is there anything (anything at all) you like to see happen in the future? (it could relate to cyber sensuality)
NN: America to get their shit together.
PP: one thing you don't like about contemporary art right now?
NN: Just how I feel when there are some works that come off as pretentious. It's not that I think the work is bad, or shouldn't be the way it is, it just makes me feel like I'm not smart enough and that makes me sad.
PP: Looking back on your show how do you think it went over all? was that your first solo show? what would you have changed and what did you learn from it?
NN: Yes, technically it was my first solo art show and overall I’m just really proud of having done it. There are actually a number of things I would change like putting some of the prints in frames but that's just me being indecisive. The one thing I've learned from putting a show together was about spacing. I have a tendency to feel the need to fill up or provide as much material as possible when I know there will be an audience. Kind of like when I host a party, I want to make sure everyone is entertained and that there is enough food for seconds. So when I was installing the space, I had to not think like that and give each installation piece breathing room.
PP: How did your vision for the show match up with what you ended up with?
NN:Pretty close! I actually built a miniature model of the room and artwork prior to the show to get a better idea of how I wanted things to look. Unfortunately, because there were some complications with the space that couldn't have been helped, I had to make some compromises i.e. the lighting and entrance.