Phan Thao Nguyen (b.1987, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam) is a multimedia artist who uses painting, installation, video and performance to provide alternate readings of traditional and contemporary human behavior. Through a study of literature, philosophy and observing daily life, Nguyen’s art revels in exploring the oblique tension between social convention and aesthetic narrative, seeking to disturb the presumption of History as a single tale of truth.
Nguyen graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Lasalle College of Arts in 2009 and obtained her Master of Fine Arts at the Art Institute of Chicago in 2013.
Phan Thao Nguyen is a member of the collective Art Labor. She currently lives and works in Ho Chi Minh City.
'Curve of the Horizon' interprets the recurring tragedy of a Vietnamese phenomenon, through the symbolic phrase ‘uproot rice grow jute’. This phrase refers to a campaign by the Japanese during their occupation of Indochina (1941 – 1945). Jute was used to make sacks and clothing for the armed force, a crucial material for the Japanese war industry. During Japanese occupation, the jute supply from India was interrupted, leading to the forced replacement of rice with jute in Vietnam. This act was partially blamed for causing a severe famine that took away the lives of nearly two million Vietnamese.