Artist: Tiffany Le
Media: Canvas, paper, ink,candle lights, acrylic & charcoal
Gallery: CSULB School of Art , Dutzi Gallery
About the Artist: Tiffany is was born in Malaysia and she moved to U.S when she was only 1 year old. her parents are from Vietnam but as she mentioned in her art introduction ,despite having a Vietnamese inheritance and growing up in a large Vietnamese community in south California she knows very little about her culture and what her parents went through before she was born. her parents were among the many refugees who fled Vietnam in 1970’s. like most of other first refugee generation Tiffany’s parents did not share their sad and rough experiences with their daughter but Tiffany didn’t stop asking them till they shared their interesting stories with her. the stories that became Tiffany’s inspiration of making Tàu Exhibition.
Formal Analysis: Tàu exhibition is expressed in 2 forms, paintings and Sculpture. paintings are made of oil paints and charcoal on paper. they mostly have dark scenes and background which express the fear refugees feel and the danger they encountered in order to escape the country. “Boat” and “Sea(Ocean)” as symbols of escaping and refugees are the two common feature and element in both paintings and sculpture. the sculpture was made of paper boats in different sizes. the biggest one in the middle and others were all around it. some of the boats themselves were made of Tiffany’s art works (prints on the paper) along with light candles. the sculpture is intended to exhibit in darkness because escaping boats were moving in the nights in order to prevent getting caught.
Content Analysis: Tiffany’s Tàu exhibition is inspired directly from her parent’s journey and how they escaped Vietnam in 1975. her parents didn’t like to share the story at first but she convinced them to tell her what they have been through to get here. Tiffany wanted to show them it’s really important for other people (immigrants, refugees and …) to know how they did struggle to have a better life and a brighter future . she also wanted other people understand that immigrants are human beings just like us. they are not criminals who came here only to commit crimes. most of the immigrants went through real struggle and tough times in their life and moved to U.S seeking more life quality and opportunities for their family. moving
My Experience: I found Tàu very moving and thoughtful. she was connected directly and moved by her parents story and that’s what makes her art very understandable and touching. I really enjoyed watching her sculpture specially when she darkened the room. the combination of boats and light candles was amazing. what I like the most about her show was the message behind her art. every single human being deserves to live in peace and being treated equally regardless of race,color or ethnicity.