These are a selection of prints created over the course of two years varied due to work & COVID. This portfolio varies from hand-embellished silkscreen prints to sketches that informed their creation and the process in-between. This series was an experiment to see:
1) whether I could still do printmaking as I'd been away from the studio for 3+ years.
2) whether I could effectively incorporate eco-friendly materials into my practice.
3) what challenges these materials would present in the medium.
The final results are closed, limited-edition silkscreen prints that have been personally hand-embellished. Each print is unique in its own way. Please enjoy.
Having immigrated to the United States at a young age, I didn’t feel attached to Vietnam yet felt like an outsider in my new “home.” In my work, I create liminal spaces, a state of in-between-ness and ambiguity that encourages transition, through fictitious landscapes to explore the reconstruction of cultural identity filtered by memories and feelings of displacement & isolation.
Using silhouettes from found vessels as a framing device I create a visual language that fuses these two worlds. The commentary focuses on consumerism, constructions of cultural identity and my reflections on contemporary events. These spaces serve as mind maps, with symbols & memories nested within one another, an odd mix of old & new. My imagined landscapes are the result of the collision between East and West, inviting viewers to ponder the immigrant experience.
After refining the sketches on Procreate from paper scraps & graphite illustration, I take these digital sketches into Adobe Illustrator and start "inking" them up, beginning a crucial step in the photo emulsion process: creating transparencies that'll be printed on Mylar sheets and eventually used to expose on the screen. At this point, I've pared down the visual information present in each vessel so that the concept/narrative is clear. Following this, I'll begin adding halftone patterns for shading/lighting. The Photo Emulsion Method is best for creating a photographic stencil of a pre-printed black and white image.
After the transparencies are printed on Mylar, I'll then begin overlaying each vessel's Mylar on different types & colors of paper, checking to see whether the concept aligns with the mood generated by the paper and its inclusions. If the color doesn't feel right, I'll move onto the next. If the color is right but that specific sheet's inclusions doesn't feel right, I'll store that in a portfolio for other projects. Typically, I'll rinse and repeat this step as many times as necessary, leaving only the best pairings to work with. Below are 2 of the 7 Mylar's.
Left to right:
*Highs & Lows V.1, 15 in. x 19 in., Silkscreen, printed & hand embellished on Thai Unryu (25 gsm)
Yellow Clouds & Green Skies V.1, 15 in. x 19 in., Silkscreen, printed on Jute Fiber Origami paper (90-100 gsm)
Good Morning, Saigon V.1, 15 in. x 19 in., Silkscreen, printed & hand-embellished on Kozo paper (35 gsm)
Adrift V.1, 15 in. x 19 in., Silkscreen, printed & hand-embellished on Kozo paper (35 gsm)
That Which Guides Us V.1, 15 in. x 19 in., Silkscreen, printed on Kozo paper (35 gsm)
And From The Ashes V.1, 15 in. x 19 in., Silkscreen, printed & hand-embellished on Kozo paper (35 gsm)
Cố Lên V.1, 15 in. x 19 in., Silkscreen, printed & hand-embellished on Kozo paper (35 gsm)
THANK YOU FOR LOOKING.