Christine Nguyen

In support of this year’s New Works Photography Fellowship Award Exhibition and to share the work of this year’s photographers with the online community, En Foco partners with juror Michael Mazzeo to highlight their work in a series of blog posts. Exhibition catalog is available, and includes all the work in the exhibition.

Blog post 4 of 5.

Christine Nguyen creates otherworldly ecosystems of her own evolutionary design. In them, marine life extends to the heavens, matter transcends physical form, and organisms generate visible energy to shape a vast network of interconnectedness. Borrowing from scientific imagery, she re-invents intricate systems to build a framework for a new cosmology.

In a fusion of processes, Nguyen uses cyanotypes, photograms, chromogenic and digital prints–some from hand-painted negatives, others overgrown with salt crystals. Most of the work consists of combined prints, with the largest assemblage containing more than one hundred images and measuring twenty-one by fifty feet. Her imaginative environments do not represent life as we know it. Though favoring the blues and greens suggestive of earthly oceans, Nguyen’s phantasmagorical imagery places us clearly in an alternate reality. Envisioned from both molecular and empyrean vantage points, her amorphous entities and volatile synapses combine to form a plethora of possibilities.

At a time of increasing skepticism, and even denial, of science, Nguyen’s metaphysical imagery gives us reason to carefully consider the causes and effects of environmental change and ultimately, the fate of our world.

Though we have become increasingly desensitized by pervasive images of human suffering, Perry’s adoption of an antiquarian process imbues the work with romanticism and nostalgia, leaving the viewer unguarded and allowing space for unexpected emotional responses. By recontextualizing these images, she hopes to bring a renewed scrutiny to a horrific situation and inspire urgently needed change to a disadvantaged society.

–Michael Mazzeo, Guest Juror, New Works #15

© Christine Nguyen, Cosmic Sparks, 2012

Christine Nguyen is the recipient of En Foco’s New Works Photography Fellowship Awards, an annual program selecting three or more U.S. based photographers of Latino, African or Asian heritage, and Native Peoples of the Americas and Pacific, through a national call for entries. The New Works program helps artists to create or complete an in-depth photographic series exploring themes of their choice, and provides the infrastructure needed for national visibility and a professional exhibition of their new work in the New York area. More about her at her En Foco Photographers page and her website

Christine’s work is on view as part of New Works #15, at Calumet Photographic in Manhattan, through June 23, 2012. Please join us Thursday, June 14, 6-8 pm for the opening reception and Saturday, June 16, 2-3:30 pm for the artist talk.

Michael Mazzeo is a gallerist, educator and photographer based in New York City. He serves on the faculties of the School of Visual Arts, the International Center of Photography, New Jersey City University, and has been a guest lecturer at other prestigious institutions. He has been a featured portfolio reviewer at Fotofest, Review Santa Fe, Photolucida, Critical Mass, FotoWeek DC, The Center of Photography at Woodstock, ICP, ASMP, SPE, powerHouse Books, and Atlanta Celebrates Photography.

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