THUY LINH BENNETT KANG
My images are bound in religion, mythology, and war. Portraits and mythological icons are set in a background of colored washes, splashes, curious line and resin. Inundating with pools of colors, the washes and splashes are waters and oils to cleanse and purify the tragedies of war. Creating juxtaposition between war and peace. The paints oppose each other and coagulate, ripple, and crack. The process creates a three-dimensional blanket of glossy color. The resin seals and preserves.
This work is rooted in my heritage as Vietnamese and now American. Born in war-ravaged Vietnam, with a Vietnamese mother and an American father, I saw how war not only destroys lives and families, but the residuals of such hatred continues to influence countries and individuals beyond war years. It is my hope that in this art, lives once destroyed, can heal as their visage swims to the surface of a glossy pond of acrylic and oil. Portraits yes, but also icons of innocence immortalized from a past into a present in which this history almost seems mythological, yet paradoxically is still all too real in a world in which too many are wedged between empires of hatred and greed.
The process of creating this poured paint is itself a purification of personal regrets and world historical failures, imbedded in resin, waiting for renewal. In the end, my exploration has taken me on a never-ending journey of who I am and where I came from. My work reminds me to cleanse and forgive, while always retaining that memory of lives lost and their dear perfection in the face of injustice. It reminds me to never forget loss, but also, to let it go.