2023 Fundraising Auction Item: Rocks from observation No. 2 by Tammy Nguyen


Title: Rocks from observation No. 2
Artist: Tammy Nguyen
Year: 2020
Materials: Ink on paper.
Dimensions: 8 x 10.5 inches
Edition: Unique
Estimated Value: $300

This work was produced in advance of Tammy Nguyen’s experimental novel, O, published in 2022 by Ugly Duckling Presse. The book and accompanying illustrations, including Rocks from observation No. 2, were exhibited at the Brooklyn library with the following description:

From a dentist’s office in San Francisco to the caves of the Phong Nha Karst, Tammy Nguyen’s O sounds the depths of personal, mineral, and geopolitical histories of Vietnam. In this many-threaded narrative, a wind that carved mountains whistles through a young girl’s teeth. The electric green of a plastic forest glints off of glazed porcelain. The shape of a bowl becomes the mouth of a cave. What emerges is a story without a center: an anti-allegory that finds its meaning in echoes and refracted light, a book stitched together by the O woven through the work as its visual spine and sonic refrain.

In the book, Nguyen’s richly layered drawings appear interleaved within her writing, including cutout vignettes. The book contains hand letterpress elements by the artist evoking fonts and typographical interventions of Vietnam’s colonial era, creating in form and content an evocation of cultural space which has found a singular expression.

About the Artist

Tammy Nguyen is a multimedia artist and writer whose work spans painting, drawing, silkscreen, and publishing. Intersecting geopolitical realities with fiction, her practice addresses lesser-known histories through a blend of myth and visual narrative. She is the founder of Passenger Pigeon Press, an independent press that joins the work of scientists, journalists, creative writers, and artists to create politically nuanced and cross-disciplinary projects. Born in San Francisco, Nguyen received a BFA from Cooper Union in 2007. The year following, she received a Fulbright scholarship to study lacquer painting in Vietnam, where she remained and worked with a ceramics company for three years thereafter. Nguyen received an MFA from Yale in 2013 and was awarded the Van Lier Fellowship at Wave Hill in 2014. She has exhibited at the Rubin Museum, The Factory Contemporary Arts Centre in Vietnam, and the Bronx Museum, among others. Her work is included in the collections of Yale University, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, MIT Library, the Seattle Art Museum, the Walker Art Center Library, and the Museum of Modern Art Library. Nguyen was an artist-in-residence at Center for Book Arts in 2015.

Rocks from observation No. 2, 2020. Tammy Nguyen

Artwork Images

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