Photo by Vero Kherian
How does one form a type of personal and significant language when they are dropped from the sky into a foreign land?

The context of my practice is born out of my experience as the youngest child in a Vietnamese refugee family. My parents demanded ethics and hard work. They valued independent thinking for all genders, leaving us to compose a cloak of deference over a mind grounded in sharp survival. Hours of watching Bob Ross on PBS gave way to childhood escapism, imagining I, too, could embody that leisurely pastime. My mother, proving youngest children were not always ignored, announced she had enrolled her 14-year-old daughter in weekly oil painting classes. She gave me fierce, fiery love, an unsatiable sweet tooth, and a keen awareness for finding the aesthetic in life.  He gave me security and patience, an allure for wandering the landscape, risk taking, history, and the necessity for independence. Both personified an open mind, kindness, and care of others.

The act of manipulating pigment over a support instantaneously embraces centuries of historical drawing and painting, art made integral with religious principals and cultural ideologies. For me, the advancement of art and culture are parallel. Creating art becomes an illuminating act, one undertaken to understand contemporary doctrines by the study of evolving sentiments.
Liên Trương’s work blends painting with military, textile, food and art histories to form a diasporic, aesthetic language. Her work has been exhibited widely in venues including the National Portrait Gallery; Nasher Museum of Art; S.E.A. Focus, Singapore; Untitled Art Fair; North Carolina Museum of Art; and the Pennsylvania Academy of Art. Trương was the recipient of the Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Award in 2019. She has held residencies at the Oakland Museum of California, Jentel Foundation, and the Marble House Project. Born in Saigon, Vietnam, Trương immigrated to the US in 1975. She received her MFA from Mills College and is an Associate Professor of Art in the Department of Art and Art History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.