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Portrait of Tuan Andrew Nguyen

Photo by Harry Vu.

Artist Tuan Andrew Nguyen joins scholar and writer Tao Leigh Goffe for a conversation. We conclude with a poetry reading by Sarah Wang.

Tuan Andrew Nguyen (b. 1976, Saigon, Vietnam; he/him) is an artist whose work utilizes strategies of remembrance to highlight unofficial and suppressed histories. Interweaving the factual and the speculative and often employing mythologies of otherworldly realms, Nguyen’s films re-work dominant narratives into stories that propose creative forms of healing the intergenerational traumas of colonialism, war, and displacement. Through his interest in animism and material memory, the affective and historical charge embedded into objects, Nguyen’s installations and sculptural practice coincide with and expand on the themes explored in his films.

Tao Leigh Goffe, PhD is a London-born, Black British award-winning writer, professor, and interdisciplinary sound artist who grew up between the UK and New York. She studied literature at Princeton University before pursuing a PhD at Yale University, which led her to explore global Black and Asian intellectual histories, political, and ecological life. Her work has appeared in New York Magazine, Artsy, and Boston Review. Tao is writing a book called AFTER EDEN on how the climate crisis is a racial crisis. She lives and works in Manhattan where she is an artist-in-residence at Columbia University and a member of NEW INC. She is the Executive Director of the Afro-Asia Group, an organization that centers the intersections of African and Asian diasporas.

Sarah Wang has written for The New Yorker, The Atlantic, the London Review of Books, The Nation, and n+1. She has received fellowships from MacDowell, PEN America Writing for Justice, Center for Fiction, NYFA, and is a Tin House Scholar. She teaches creative writing at Barnard College and is finishing a novel about plastic surgery, hair transplants, and reality television.

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