Societal dialogue

Jacqueline Hoang Nguyen is this semester’s Koerner Artist in Residence

Jacqueline Hoang Nguyen is a Montreal-born research artist, based in Brooklyn and Stockholm. Her objective is to stimulate dialogue within society through her works.
Jacqueline Hoang Nguyen is a Montreal-born research artist, based in Brooklyn and Stockholm. Her objective is to stimulate dialogue within society through her works.
Credit: 
Photos Supplied By João Enxuto

A true artist is always deeply involved in facilitating and fostering a dialogue with society.

Currently based in New York City’s Brooklyn and Stockholm, Sweden, Jacqueline Hoang Nguyen’s work is steeped in critical and political analysis, dealing with diverse issues such as multiculturalism, historicity, feminism and immigration.

Nguyen is this winter’s Queen’s artist in residence, as part of the Koerner Artist in Residence Program, an annual professional residency in the Fine Art program.

She’s taken part in similar programs before, but this particular experience is new to her.

“This is the first time that I will be an artist-in-residence at a university,” she said, “and I’m excited to provide artistic instruction to students.”

The residency program enables students to gain valuable feedback and mentorship from a renowned artist.

“I am happy to be a part of this program as I have only been to Kingston once before,” Nguyen said. “Being a visual artist definitely requires investment in what you are doing and a particular dialogue with peers, other artists and practitioners.”

Nguyen will be giving a variety of talks around campus next week. She plans to discuss the practice of making art, her earlier work and ideas she’s been investigating in relation to her work.

A French-Canadian of Vietnamese origin, Nguyen’s parents were Canadian immigrants. The themes of immigration and multiculturalism resonate in her work.

“I became interested in the daily realities of being an immigrant and representing that in my artwork, particularly because it was an experience that informed my understanding of who I am,” she said.

“Being part of a minority in Canada and the daughter of immigrants was an issue that I had to deal with.” One of Nguyen’s ongoing projects that explores the mundane imagery of immigrant realities is The Making of an Archive.

It involves collecting a series of photographs that attempt to construct multicultural Canada.

Aside from the themes of immigration and multiculturalism, Nguyen said feminism and feminist theories have also been crucial in shaping and inspiring her.

“I have always been invested in the humanities, particularly with forms of expression, and feminist theories are important in defining my work,” she said.

Nguyen said she sees this opportunity as a chance to engage with society as an artist. This dialogue, she said, is a constant ongoing process.

“Five to seven years from now, I hope to continue being an artist who is constantly evolving and learning, and is always invested in defining what it means to be an artist,” Nguyen said.

Jacqueline Hoang Nguyen will be speaking on the following dates: Jan. 21 from noon to 1:30 p.m. (Kinesiology Building room 100), Jan. 21 from 7 to 9 p.m. (Agnes Etherington Art Centre) and Jan. 29 from 7 to 9 p.m. (Modern Fuel Artist-Run Centre).

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