Trong G. Nguyen’s Signature Series is an ongoing project that contends with issues of
attribution, collaboration, authorship and collection. The series comprises found paintings
each containing a signature on the recto. The artist alters the paintings by painting out
the signature to create an image unbroken by the inscription, by ‘white-washing’ the entire
image leaving just the signature, or by painting a new image in the style of the same genre
over the original, leaving the signature untouched. In Nguyen’s installation for 7.9 Cubic
Metres, a black UV light that switches every 30 seconds reveals the over-painting.
Beyond serving as a statement on iconoclasm and the ‘cult of the artist’, the work
examines a potential for anonymity, originality and validation. More importantly, the series
critiques structures of ownership and proprietorship as works of art are purchased,
consumed, displayed and perceived subjectively.
Trong G. Nguyen is an artist based in New York. He has exhibited internationally at
exhibitions including Sequences 2008 (Iceland), 9th Havana Biennial (Cuba) and Performa
05 (New York) and has also curated prolifically.
7.9 Cubic Metres is an artist-initiated project by James Carrigan, curated by Eliza Tan.
Project details and directions: www.7point9cubicmetres.com
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