Maya Nguyen

– is a Vietnamese-Russian interdisciplinary artist with a BA in Philosophy and Comparative Literature from the University of Chicago and an MFA in Sound from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her work investigates power relations within human interactions and the environments that facilitate these interactions, exploring themes such as the domestic sphere, colonial histories, migratory routes, and the relationship between humans and the natural world.


Poster Girl Maya Nguyen
Poster Girl
Maya Nguyen
2023
Colour photographs
8 x 11 inches
The photographs zoom in on the scratched out face of a poster girl for driving school at the Dong Xuan Center in Lichtenberg, Berlin — the largest Vietnamese-run market in Germany that is based on Đồng Xuân Market in Hanoi, Vietnam. These photographs are part of the project “ZOOM01_DXC_BER.MP3,” carried out during an artist residency at Zentrum für Kunst und Urbanistik (Germany) and Manzi Art Space (Vietnam).
Thank you to Yuquan Isaac Duan for production assistance.


Through open-ended interactions, Maya Nguyen’s work invites listeners to engage in spatialized sound installations, bodies to affect one another through contact improvisation and performance, and essay films playing with slippages between image, text, and sound. Central to her practice is her commitment to ambiguity and instability of categorization, allowing sound to embody all at once amplitude and power, pitch and gender, timbre and emotion.


Maya Nguyen Installation View
Installation View (from left to right):
Poster Girl
Maya Nguyen
2023
Colour photographs
8 x 11 inches
Beginner
Maya Nguyen
2023
Vietnamese-German Dictionary, Language Exercise Prompts, Sounds of a Vietnamese-German Infant
10 min (loop)
Please take a listen and try your best!
Thank you to Zoe Anh for production assistance.
Apparatus
Maya Nguyen
2023
CD Player, Rice Cooker Sound Recording
5 min (loop)
An apparatus that guarantees your home will be constantly full of the sweet sound of jasmine rice.