Teo Nguyen: Việt Nam Peace Project
Teo Nguyen’s solo museum exhibition invites contemplation and reflection on the Vietnamese people’s struggles toward peace and what the artist calls “the politics of worthiness.” Nguyen tells stories of heartbreak, optimism, resistance, and reconciliation that are interwoven into Vietnamese culture and spiritualism. His photorealist paintings reference historic images by photojournalists documenting the war in Vietnam, but reimagine them without violence. By eliminating the helicopters, weapons, fighting, victims, and fallen soldiers, he reveals a country of diverse natural beauty. This act of reclamation shines a light on a Vietnam beyond the war, a place of rich culture and picturesque topography. My Being, a short film inspired by his mother’s poems of loss and separation, and a photo-based installation in the show present narratives from a Vietnamese perspective. Born and raised in Vietnam, Nguyen lives and works in Minneapolis.