Nam Duc Nguyen


BFA Visual Arts, 2005, Emily Carr School of Art & Design



The Mapping of Space: Bodily Knowledge of the Cityscape.

      My paintings begin when I wander and gaze upon the masses that occupy public space. 


       I am fascinated with the human subject in relation to the urban technological and architectural landscape.  There are moments of self-reflection and comprehension of the interrelation of the human subject, the architectural space and my own subjectivity. 


       Yet, painting is inept its ability to record a moment of perception.  Painting unlike the camera does not lend itself to a quick and easy recording of the fleeting public moment.  The history of painting in the public has feigned carefully calculated naturalism that could compete with the naturalism and power of photography.  The distance and removal of a representation that attempts to express a particular moment leads to a slippage.  What is being represented is nothing more than a memory incomplete and murky.  Yet, painting controls every aspect of the slippage, each decision is made in hopes of returning to the origin of the perceived memory.  Each mark then is a present perceptual phenomena that makes a gesture toward a particular memory of the public space.  The particular moment of comprehension is reduced to a mental concept and is transformed into a modal and spatial construction.  The modes of realism are abandoned for a more distant recognition of a moment; one that admittedly obscures as much as it conveys. 


      That being said, my practice is a mapping of space; one that recognizes the city space as an interrelation of my own structures of consciousness, other conscious beings and the architectural, technological landscape.