Tuyết Ánh Judith Nguyễn
Tuyết Ánh Judith Nguyễn (they/them) is a multidisciplinary artist of Vietnamese ancestry living with C-PTSD on the Ancestral, Traditional, unceded Coast Salish territories of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh Nations. Nguyễn often creates out of trying to understand themself, creativity, people, and the world. Outsider arts encompass Nguyễn’s sense of belonging as a person and artist. As they grow, Nguyễn realises that they make art to revere life itself. They can be found on nature trails and being a homebody, reading comics, collecting miniature swords, and gradually learning the electric guitar.
Nguyễn’s paintings and sculptures have been exhibited at the View Gallery, Nanaimo Art Gallery, and Robron Centre. Having graduated from Vancouver Art Therapy Institute, their final project’s thesis designs a 16-weekly program of studio group art therapy that is ethnocultural diverse and LGBT2QIA-positive concerning the ageing population of Turtle Island. Their work as an art therapist allows them to explore more with different kinds of people who need the arts for different reasons. Currently working as a community support worker, they have a passionate framework rooted in holistic wellness, visual arts, and social change at the frontlines.
Nguyễn believes that art embodies language. There is an internal library of symbolism within all of us that eventually intertwines with the collective consciousness. Bellying that art psychotherapy, their paintings depict the various colours and shapes of longing, joy, and reverence within peoples’ bodies, specifically that of the queer global majority. Our lives, experiences, and names are important. Their parents internalised the sight of snowfall upon their arrival at Tkaronto Point and gifted them the first name, Tuyết, snow. Nguyễn gave themself a second name after they saw the painting of a sword through a neck, Judith vengefully beheading the pillager of her village. Nguyễn drew out the books of longing and joy and reverence from the library within themself, and they painted. Our symbols are made visible again and transformative when we create. The outsider arts allows Nguyễn to unlearn and redefine creativity for themself and their communities. It’s about the celebration of mundane life, emotions, fluidity, rawness, healing, remembrance, pleasure, practice, honour, cultural integrity, collective empowerment, resource sharing, daydreaming as well as critical thinking, beauty as spirituality, difference as necessary and thriving, the speculative fictions of the contemporary world across disciplines and media. The arts can hold time and space for all of that if that’s what we, the people, want and need. Nguyễn paints to see it through, speaking in images.
So far in 2022, Nguyễn has directed an intergenerational documentary about 2-Spirit musician Lorine Braun premiering at the upcoming Vancouver Queer Film Festival and has written creative essays about disability justice practices for Disability Alliance BC’s Transition Magazine.
Artwork Gallery (Click images to enlarge)
Artwork Below may be Different from what is Shown at the Exhibit