Oppression's living room, 2017

Oppression is a white cisgendered gay man. He has relatives and friends who may go by the same name, but I have chosen to focus on this Oppression in particular.

 

Oppression was an anti-Vietnam War activist during the 60s and 70s and he was "lucky" enough to avoid being drafted. After the end of the war, his favorite pastime was to sit in his living room watching gay Vietnamese pornography, surrounded by the glow of his pink lighting, the sparkles from his bedazzled furniture, and his cozy Boho-chic interior design style choices. Oppression was a hippie.

 

Here I have built Oppression's living room; I've painfully and angrily endured discovering how he lives in order to better understand him--not to serve him, but to study him. By creating the papasan chair in which he lounges all day, I know where and how Oppression likes to sit. By placing framed photos of Vietnamese refugees and Vietnamese gay porn stars, I learn more about Oppression’s taste in home decor and how he wants them arranged. By designing his television set and compiling the commercials and shows he likes to watch, I know what twisted forms of entertainment Oppression enjoys the most.

Did I mention that he has converted to Buddhism, too? He hated the terrors that his own country, the United States, forced onto the Vietnamese people. Through his pity for them, Oppression learned that it wasn't just the violence they endured that defined him as an activist, but also the people themselves and their cultures.

(The Art of Flower Power: an article I wrote for The College Hill Independent alongside this project)

Oppression's living room - Tinan Nguyen

Full installation shot.

Mixed media, site-specific installation documented via scanning photograph with glitter and stickers

Oppression's living room - Tinan Nguyen

Detail of ottoman and glitter zen garden.

Found side table painted with faux wood grain (acrylic), digital collage lotus flower pattern printed onto silk and then upholstered onto table with foam, bedazzling jewels, hand dyed facial tissues, UV printed tissue box, glitter, zen garden painted various colors (acrylic and enamel), lotus incense, pink drawing ink mixed with glycerin, digital collage printed onto sticker paper, pink lighting, human model. Documented via scanning photograph with glitter and stickers.

Oppression's living room - Tinan Nguyen

Detail of TV and entertainment center.

TV painted with lotus flower pattern (acrylic and enamel), glitter, bedazzling jewels,TV stand painted with faux wood grain (acrylic) and lotus flower pattern (acrylic and enamel), DVD player decorated with paint (acrylic) and sticker paper, cut paper, glitter, sticky rice baskets, found cardboard box with printed lotus flower design, polymer clay, yarn, printed digital collages placed into DVD covers, printed digital collages placed into photo frames, digital video made from internet-sourced found footage looping on TV screen, pink lighting, human model.​ Documented via scanning photograph with glitter and stickers.

Oppression's living room - Tinan Nguyen

Detail of wall-hung textile pieces and papasan chair.

Twine, pink paracord, beads, bedazzling jewels, yarn, various fabric trims, various ribbons, tassels, wooden stick, acrylic paint, digital embroidery on silk, appliqué, papasan chair painted with lotus flower pattern (acrylic), machine knitted underwear, found socks, pink lighting, human model. Documented via scanning photograph with glitter and stickers.

Boom Boom Boyz 2 - Tinan Nguyen

Boom Boom Boyz 2

Acrylic, enamel, glitter, cut paper, marker, sticker paper, yarn, chrome and iridescent nail polish, and bedazzling jewels on plexiglass. Glittered frame.

Make Love Not War - Tinan Nguyen

Make Love Not War

Acrylic, enamel, glitter, polymer clay, cut paper, marker, nail polish, digitally printed fabric, and bedazzling jewels on plexiglass. Glittered frame.

Mister Saigon - Tinan Nguyen

Mister Saigon

Acrylic, enamel, glitter, cut paper, marker, chrome nail polish, felt, and bedazzling jewels on plexiglass. Glittered frame.

Boom Boom Boyz 2 - Tinan Nguyen

Boom Boom Boyz 2 (original)

Digital collage using found images sourced from the internet.

Make Love Not War - Tinan Nguyen

Make Love Not War (original)

Digital collage using found images sourced from the internet.

Mister Saigon - Tinan Nguyen

Mister Saigon (original)

Digital collage using found images sourced from the internet.

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