Artist: Tony Nguyen
Gallery: Dr. Maxine Merlino Gallery
About the Artist: Tony Nguyen is finishing up his last semester at California State University, Long Beach and is pursuing his Bachelor of Fine Arts in the 3D program. He mentioned that once he began the program he absolutely fell in love with it because he learned how to make metal which led him to be able to create unique pieces by himself. Tony is inspired by his Vietnamese culture and he enjoys making pieces that show off his culture.
Formal Analysis: When you step foot in the gallery, there are many pieces made out of metal. There were 15 pieces in the installation including a glove, a crown, a toy dispenser and figurines. He emphasized that his pieces take from 4 to 6 weeks to complete even with procrastination. Each piece is very intricate and it has its own story. There was no theme to the gallery and each piece is only related to another because they are made from metal.
Content Analysis: Tony explained that the name of the installation was Neoteny and that everyone asks what exactly that word means. Neoteny is defined as ‘the retention of juvenile features in the adult animal.’ Tony says that he really likes that word because he makes pieces that bring part of his childhood back into his adult life.
Synthesis: This gallery was very unique and I really likes how the theme was very subtle. Each piece was unique and each had a story behind why he made that piece. My favorite piece was the toy dispenser machine because it was the first piece I saw as I walked in and it definitely reminded me of my childhood and how I wanted to put a quarter or two in them and buy a toy whenever I’d see one. I thought it was very beautiful that he is trying to bring his favorite childhood memories into his present day reality.