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) how I'd execute a larger series of conceptually distinct work that had a unifying theme.
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.​​​​​​​
Overarching Statement:
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.
Digital Sketches:
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.

Good Morning, Saigon V.1:
A paper fan tree looms in the distance against a church, with candles flickering at its base. A satellite splits the horizon between these two spaces, continually orbiting on its path. A lone figure wanders the frozen world in solitude. Beneath them, kites and lanterns gently sway back-and-forth on the passing breeze. Above, a crane soars through the air, fishing for its meal amongst the field of reeds. “Good Morning, Saigon V.1” is comprised of a slender vase on charcoal mango paper and portrays reflections on my time spent in SF and Vietnam while commuting to work at a restaurant every week as well as heading to Art Gym after work. Above, a crane soars through the air, fishing for its meal amongst the field of reeds. “Good Morning, Saigon V.1” is comprised of a slender vase on charcoal mango paper and portrays reflections on my time spent in SF and Vietnam while commuting to work at a restaurant every week as well as heading to Art Gym after work.

That Which Guides Us V.1:
Within the composition is a dove, overlooking a crowded cityscape populated by traces of consumerism. There are stools & tables arranged outside a restaurant, with icons on its exterior symbolizing the volatility and lack of security in the food service industry. “That Which Guides Us V.1” depicts the outward manifestation of personal superstitions and routines, mundane details that ordinarily escape attention shaping movement, actions, and consequences in daily life.​​​​​​​ In religions and folklore, thurification (the act of burning incense) is an important ritual and almost all religions practice this ritual in different forms. Depicted above are sticks of incense. Some have long smoldered away, and others wait to be lit by the next soul wanting to manifest their spiritual desire and pass their prayers to deities.

Cố Lên V.1:
A cargo ship stacked high with containers begins the first leg of its long journey. The ocean’s dimly lit by a star, faintly illuminating the waters ahead. Overhead, a group of travelers wait to cross the street before arriving at their secluded destination. Amidst all this, cranes float in a suspended state of grace against massive columns of incense protruding from a fully bloomed lotus. Beside them is an idle battleship in port, retired and floating weightlessly atop waves. The lotus represents beauty grown by reaching toward the sky despite being deeply rooted and buried in the mud. Figuratively, the lotus is a symbol of rising above despite the challenges. The juxtaposition of these two metaphorically represents how enlightenment (wisdom/understanding) is gained through experiencing the realities of life.

Adrift V.1:
Above, a train headed to Santa Barbara departs from Jack London Square station. With each train cabin disappearing into the tunnels, the coastline is revealed and very rarely, one can spot dolphins. Tucked further back is the Old Mission that guards the entrance to Gibraltar Road. On the coast’s horizon sits an anchored ship and offshore oil drilling rig, a uneasy reminder of our reliance on fossil fuels.  “Adrift V.1” illustrates a time where I felt lost, drifting back-and-forth between different jobs/states, trying to figure out next steps as waves of uncertainty and doubt crept into my mind. The print is comprised of a Vietnamese coffee phin filter (pronounced FEEN) where its inner contents portray landmarks around the cities of San Francisco, Santa Barbara, and my travels to each surrounding area. The cup is split into panels, mirroring the silhouette of commonly used restaurant vessels, with each section highlighting a different vantage point.

Yellow Clouds & Green Skies V.1:
The landscape is awash in an industrial haze, with the marbling a metaphor for oil slicks. Through the smog, a refinery belches noxious chemicals and toxins upwards into the atmosphere while pumping “forever chemicals” waste into the creek.  The jungle of silver smokestacks and catwalks tower above the intersection, visible flames flaring from the top of the refinery’s pipe stacks. Surfing against forces of gravity, a pair of birds flap their wings. In the distance, a cat surveys its scenery.
“Yellow Clouds & Green Skies V.1” is comprised of a large bowl printed on marbled jute paper and depicts reflections on the SUNCOR refinery, environmental racism and how communities of color are disproportionately affected by pollution.

Highs & Lows V.1:
The surrounding forest is lit by the moon’s bright reflection. A COVID-ian beast surveys the vast landscape beneath its gaze, preparing for its descent. Tombstones are scattered around mounds of earth, with flowers sprouting up from below. Attached to the graves are scarves, whipping fiercely through the air as the wind howls. Amidst all this, a water buffalo doggedly trudges onwards as the rumbling of a jet can be heard. “Highs & Lows V.1”  is comprised of a teapot printed on bloody red mulberry paper. This piece depicts my reflections from the past year on the ongoing pandemic. The mountainscape and valleys are created from data yielded from contact tracing.
*From front to back: total number of cases in US & trends, daily number of cases in CO, daily number of deaths in CO

And From The Ashes V.1:
Smoke plumes rise towards the sky from a pinecone, still glowing from the flames sweeping through the mountainside. There are charred swathes of land with burnt remains of trees & electric poles piercing the horizon. Below, motor vehicles slowly rumble on the asphalt, trying to escape the fire and smoke. “And From The Ashes V.1” is a time stamp from when collective anxiety because of COVID was exacerbated by wildfire smoke. The vessel illustrates the reality looming ahead if radical changes aren’t taken to address the effects of climate change as its effects threaten to overload social infrastructure.

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)

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