Conversation with artist Tuan Andrew Nguyen from The Propeller Group – Blaffer Art Museum

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Conversation with artist Tuan Andrew Nguyen from The Propeller Group

June 3 @ 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm

From left, the members of the Propeller Group — Matt Lucero, Tuan Andrew Nguyen and Phunam Thuc Ha — with a prop from their “History of the Future” project (2012). Courtesy of the artists

Please join us for a FREE Artist Talk on Saturday, June 3 at 1:30 p.m. in the Blaffer Art Museum’s cafe.

Tuan Andrew Nguyen from The Propeller Group will be in conversation with Duy Lap Nguyen, Assistant Professor of World Cultures and Literatures at the University of Houston, and Javier Sánchez Martínez, the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Curatorial Fellow at Blaffer Art Museum.

The conversation will focus on the uncertain origins of The Propeller Group, the definition and the situation of contemporary art in Vietnam, the effects of the global market and the remnants of the Vietnam-American war. The discussion will also address Vietnams’s first generation of graffiti artists, what it means to rebrand a country and the unexpected affinities between mythology and advertisement.

About the Exhibition 

The Propeller Group brings together for the very first time seven projects comprised of videos and an assortment of related objects completed since 2010. Blurring the boundaries between an art collective and a global advertising agency, The Propeller Group was established by Phunam Thuc Ha, Matt Lucero, and Tuan Andrew Nguyen in 2006 as a multimedia platform for creating large-scale art projects. Their projects are deeply rooted in Vietnam’s history, politics, and everyday life, and yet extend to address global phenomena, including international commerce, globalized street culture, and the tools of war. Visit our webpage for more information

The exhibition is the first U.S. presentation by The Propeller Group and is organized by Blaffer Art Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and Phoenix Art Museum.


About the Speakers

Tuan Andrew Nguyen was born in 1976 in Saigon, Vietnam. In 1979, he and his family emigrated as refugees to the United States, and he grew up in California. Nguyen earned a BFA from the University of California, Irvine (1999) and an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts (2004). He is a member of the artist collective The Propeller Group (est. 2006) and a cofounder of the artist-run alternative space Sàn Art (est. 2007) in Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon). His work often deals with the cultural estrangement of expatriation and the experience of returning home to an unfamiliar place. Nguyen’s videos have appeared in the 18th Annual Singapore International Film Festival (2005), 4th Bangkok Experimental Film Festival, Thailand (2005), and 55th International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, Germany (2009). Nguyen has been the subject of solo exhibitions at Voz Alta Project, San Diego (2004), and Galerie Quynh, Ho Chi Minh City (2008). Nguyen lives and works in Ho Chi Minh City.

Duy Lap Nguyen is an assistant professor of world cultures and literatures at the University of Houston. His work has appeared, most recently, in Thesis Eleven (2015), Constellations (2015), Differences (2015), Interventions (2014) and Historical Materialism (2010). Nguyen’s current research explores works by the Vietnamese philosopher Trần Đức Thảo and develops a reading of Thảo’s materialist critique of phenomenology. A second project, titled “The Postcolonial Present: Redemption and Revolution in Twentieth-Century Vietnamese Culture and History,” examines Vietnamese cinema, literature, and mass culture from the Vietnam War era.

Javier Sánchez Martínez is the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Curatorial Fellow at Blaffer Art Museum. His recent exhibitions include Blake Rayne: Cabin of the Accused (2016) and Hilary Lloyd (2016) at Blaffer Art Museum; The Rhythm That Laughs You (2014) at Flux Factory in Queens, N.Y.; Tom Burr. Screen (2014) at CCS Bard; and The Image and the Animal (2010) at Palacio de los Condes de Gabia, Granada, Spain. He also co-curated the exhibitions Saint-Clair Cemin. Baroque Mirror (2012) and Hans Lemmen (2011) with Omar-Pascual Castillo at Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain.


June 3
1:30 pm - 3:00 pm


Blaffer Art Museum


Blaffer Art Museum
4173 Elgin Street
Houston, TX 77004 United States
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Phone: 713-743-9521
Mailing Address: Blaffer Art Museum
University of Houston
120 Fine Arts Building Houston, TX 77204