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TRUE BLUE DOGGIE MORPH

The playful atmosphere created by outsized toys on wheels, building blocks and pictures is soon dispelled as one is drawn into the surreal blue-blackness of Mai Nguyen-Long’s passionate engagement with life’s most important issues. Long has created a new world for her mythic mongrels. The meticulously created works of this current installation, ‘true blue doggie morph’, carry multiple layers of meaning, reflecting personal aspects of the artist’s past and present, as well as delving into universal concerns of war and identity.



The presentation of dogs and building blocks on wheels suggests a moving on and potential for change, as does the initial transporting effect of ‘true’ ultramarine and aqua blue. A counter point to these aspects are black boxes and squares that function like full stops. Black boxes and squares, combined with metal locks and wheels that only go in one direction, signal forbidden realms, secrets and unavoidable consequences. Alternatively, they provide opportunities for reflection before returning to the endlessly fascinating composite creatures, many with wings, which suggest another abode, also referred to in the wall works.



As one examines the dogs, other colours, confrontational imagery and ironic textural references become evident. Long employs mythical composite creatures as vehicles to convey her angst relating to issues about identity and trauma. Of particular concern to the artist is the confusion that occurs when political correctness goes haywire. Angry sexed up dogs and painted de/coupling images address her feeling that a perceived victim-hood can become in itself a warped sense of belonging, and over-simplified into an individual’s sexual / social capital.


Everything in this exhibition is painstakingly composed of reconstructed elements thereby paralleling psychological states. Both two and three dimensional pieces are, in effect, transformed landscapes of imagery drawn from a wide range of sources. Inspired, as the artist states, ‘by childhood memories’, especially toys on wheels made by her father, this complex work weaves personal, national and universal themes into a space where things are never quite what they seem and certainly not as simple as ABC.

Dr Ann Proctor, Art Historian, July 2010


 
mai nguyen-long
MAI NGUYEN-LONG
Wheeled dog with shard face and angel hip

 


 
mai nguyen-long
MAI NGUYEN-LONG
Wheeled dog on wheeled black block

 


 
mai nguyen-long
MAI NGUYEN-LONG
Large grottoed dog on wheeled tray with bottle carcass

 


 
mai nguyen-long
MAI NGUYEN-LONG
Wheeled blue dog with morph wings and belly shards

 


 
mai nguyen-long
MAI NGUYEN-LONG
Wheeled buff dog with shard across arse

 


 
mai nguyen-long
MAI NGUYEN-LONG
Wheeled flat top dog with branched tail & morph wings

 


 
mai nguyen-long
MAI NGUYEN-LONG
Wheeled dog with shard face & angel hip

 


 
mai nguyen-long
MAI NGUYEN-LONG
Large wheeled dog with teeming shoulder soldier conglomeration

 


 
mai nguyen-long
MAI NGUYEN-LONG
Small dog on castor wheels

 


 
mai nguyen-long
MAI NGUYEN-LONG
Wheeled black dog with morph wings & belly shards

 


 
mai nguyen-long
MAI NGUYEN-LONG
Black self on wheeled block with soldier headdress

 


 
mai nguyen-long
MAI NGUYEN-LONG
Small dog with belly shards & morph wings atop blue/black block

 


 
mai nguyen-long
MAI NGUYEN-LONG
Black dog with morph wings atop circus block

 


 
mai nguyen-long
MAI NGUYEN-LONG
Black dog with morph wings atop circus block

 


 
mai nguyen-long
MAI NGUYEN-LONG
Wheeled block with dog looking back

 


 
mai nguyen-long
MAI NGUYEN-LONG
Blue block with lock & bespeckled soldiers + 9 castor wheels

 


 
mai nguyen-long
MAI NGUYEN-LONG
Wheeled black block with lock and teeming top

 


 
mai nguyen-long
MAI NGUYEN-LONG
Black block with lock topped by black block no lock

 


 
mai nguyen-long
MAI NGUYEN-LONG
Block with cojoined dog, lock & castor wheels

 


 
mai nguyen-long
MAI NGUYEN-LONG
Slither of self on silver

 


 
mai nguyen-long
MAI NGUYEN-LONG
3 shallow selves in pieces

 


 
mai nguyen-long
MAI NGUYEN-LONG
De/coupling shape 4

 


 
mai nguyen-long
MAI NGUYEN-LONG
De/coupling shape 5

 


 
mai nguyen-long
MAI NGUYEN-LONG
De/coupling shape 2

 


 
mai nguyen-long
MAI NGUYEN-LONG
De/coupling shape 3

 


 
mai nguyen-long
MAI NGUYEN-LONG
Dog shape with nigger story

 


 
mai nguyen-long
MAI NGUYEN-LONG
Dog shape with sea and nothing

 


 
mai nguyen-long
MAI NGUYEN-LONG
Dog shape with letter-bubblehead-soldier-dog conglomeration