Maya Nguyen (b. 1996) is a Vietnamese-Russian interdisciplinary artist working at the boundaries of sound, text, and image. Her work excavates the power relations inherent in human interaction and the environments that facilitate these interactions, such as the domestic sphere, the colonial subject, or border zones. She is the assistant poetry editor of Asymptote Journal, holds a BA in Philosophy and Comparative Literature from the University of Chicago, and is an MFA candidate in Sound at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
soon, monsoon - 2021
An attempt to convey the density of urban architecture of the Global South through the kaleidoscopic interplay of image. (video 05:57min)
time pass - 2021
An oscillation between strict, mathematical structures and sensuous, mesmerizing powers of rhythmic and ornamental patterns. (video 05:28min)
sea shell - 2020
An empty shell rocks back and forth, in ways both compulsive and cathartic, a movement at once mechanical and emotional. (video 06:15min)
An image is set in motion.
A moment later, the same image is set in motion.
And again, a moment later.
Until what is set in motion is not the image, but its different moments — its time.
Borrowing from the fugue — a compositional technique in classical music where a phrase is introduced by one part and is successively taken up by others and developed by interweaving the parts — these videos repeat the same image with a temporal delay, activating its pasts, presents, and futures. The term fugue can be traced back to the latin verbs fugere (“to flee”) and fugare (“to chase”). In the temporal weave of the fugal videos, the image is never at rest. It is always either fleeing from or chasing after itself, opening itself up to chance encounters and potential resonances.