Boone Nguyen is an artist of the Southeast Asian diaspora. His experience as a war refugee in the metropole informs his work through the themes of displacement and place-building, landscape and historical memory, leaving and returning, loss and transformation. Nguyen uses moving images, video verité, photography, and soundscapes to explore how the cultural and spiritual practices of displaced communities connect us to our history, build community, and transform places that have been subjected to social and political dislocation. His immersive installations are thus fueled by a continuing search for a distant yet familiar homeplace, where the intimacies of life and death and the dialectic of subjection and resistance serve as a living archive of critical memory that is both personal and collective. Nguyen’s solo exhibition, Đi thì không có đường về, was commissioned by the Asian Arts Initiative, with original funding from the Pew Center for Art and Heritage, Philadelphia. He was a recipient of a 2018/19 MCAD–Jerome Foundation Fellowship for Early Career Artists, administered by the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and funded by the Jerome Foundation. In 2023, he was awarded the College Art Association’s Professional Development Fellowship in Visual Arts. He has exhibited his work in Philadelphia, Honolulu, Minneapolis, Los Angeles, and Tokyo. Photo credit: Ezekiel Joubert III

Nguyen has served in curatorial and management positions in community arts organizations, including Asian Arts Initiative, Frameline, and Scribe Video Center. He holds a BA in American Studies from Yale University, an MA in Ethnic Studies from the University of California, San Diego, and an MFA in Studio Arts from Cal State LA, where he lectures in the Asian and Asian American Studies Department. Nguyen has published his photography in Ethnic Studies Pedagogies Journal. His book chapter, “Đất Nước: On the Metabolic Entanglements of Life and Death,” is forthcoming in 2025. Photo: Donna Backues

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