Lien Truong – The Breaking of Bone with Stone
Dimensions: 60 x 72″
Medium: oil, silk, acrylic, chiffon,
19th century American cotton on canvas
A horse from a historic painting of Napoleon III, who decided to invade Vietnam in 1857, which led to the French colonial period which my parents grew up in, (and the war my father fought in) is painted in a fractured manner. The work includes visual renderings of the removal of a monument shape, indicating to the ways in which history has been written and memorialized from the dominant culture and voices, often leading to the erasure of those colonized or marginalized (in America as well.) Chiffon printed with the textile from the French colonial period, and 19th century American cotton (textile in brown) is included.
My current work transforms figures from the genre of Orientalist paintings. Recast as silhouettes painted in the palest yellow hue, they repudiate their sexualized and submissive origins. They are given agency, weaponized, engage in acts of self-love, and examine how gestures can both refer to and reject oppressive epistemologies. Bodies emerge out of silk anamorphic shapes, cradled by uncanny silhouettes of Orientalist ancestors. The paintings are a type of Asian Futurism, born from the violent histories descended from Orientalist ideologies; and the trauma, strength and love transcending transnational and generational boundaries, to create narratives of resistance and autonomy.