Boat Journey


  • Anh-Thuy Nguyen


A dual tension—of the impossibility of full assimilation in a new land and the difficulty of returning and reintegrating in one’s own culture—gave Nguyen the idea for Boat Journey, an ongoing photographic project, which focuses on a quest for a place where we, immigrants, seek to belong. A figure dressed in traditional Vietnamese tunic and pant, áo dài, holds onto a small makeshift leather boat. This boat is a ticket, a passport to escape. However, it gets stuck on the land and can never be set free. This project is as relevant today, as millions of migrants flee their homeland in attempts to resettle in Europe from war-torn Syria and Iraq, as it was then when flocks of Vietnamese exiles sought refuge from the American War in the late 1970s.

Author Biography

Anh-Thuy Nguyen

Nguyen is a multi-media/transdisciplinary artist, whose work spans from photography and video to installation and performance art. Using her personal history as a resource, Nguyen’s work delves deeply into conflicting emotions, feelings, and thoughts, through the portrayal of often strikingly strange yet hauntingly beautiful visual manifestations of gain and loss. She received a BFA in Photography from the University of Arizona and a MFA in Photography/Video from Southern Methodist University. Nguyen has exhibited and taught photography, painting, linoleum, performance art, and concept-driven workshops nationally and internationally. Find her Website here.






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