WOOD | Furniture and sculpture
Penland Affiliation | Penland Core Fellow 2022 – 2024
Artist Information | Studio artist and fellowship student; education: BA Applied Design, San Diego State University (CA)
Artist Bio | Lisa Nguyen was raised in Orlando, Florida and received her BA in furniture design and woodworking at San Diego State University. Prior to coming to Penland, she was a ceramics studio tech at Crealde School of Art in her hometown and worked as an administrative intern for The Furniture Society. As a core fellow, Lisa intends to explore other mediums while keeping in mind how to merge these materials with wood for future practice. Her current furniture work explores ways to be more mindful—especially to those living with us—using her cat as an inspiration. She then takes these elements and combines them with forms and structures typically seen within Greek architecture. Making sculptural yet functional forms is central to her work.
Artist Statement | Growing up, I felt alienated and conflicted at times. My work explores what it means to be Vietnamese-American. I use furniture to stand in as bodies of structures, influenced by architecture, to represent the dichotomy of culture, race, and self, in hopes of bridging my own experiences with people of similar backgrounds. Although the two cultures have many complexities, I use imagery and symbols to represent connections, which can also be seen through the form and function. As we, first-generation-born Americans, learn to unpack our experiences and memories of cultural assimilation and family immigration, our double perspective protects our vulnerabilities while essentially creating a whole new identity. I aim to share my own anecdote through furniture and woodcraft. Making sculptural yet functional forms is central to my work.