Artist: Tiffany Le
Gallery: Gatov West
This week in Art110 class I had a lovely conversation with an artist named Tiffany Le. Tiffany Le is a student at CSULB studying for her master’s degree. Tiffany is planning on graduating from Cal State Long Beach this May with an MFA. Tiffany started doing art when she was very young. Her mother tells her that at the age of 3 she was copying art off of cereal boxes. Besides working on art projects Tiffany loves to go hiking and spend time with her pets. This exhibition of Tiffany’s, that we got to see on Thursday in Art110 class is her capstone project on Vietnamese-Americans Identity.
Tiffany does a lot of her artwork printed on canvases. She uses water color pencils, ink and charcoals. In this exhibition there was also a very large constructed paper mache boat in the middle of the floor. This boat was constructed with paper and LED lights. When you look at Tiffany’s artwork you can see that she uses a very large contrast with colors. The main colors used throughout her pieces are blacks, reds and yellows. The contrast between the light color of yellow and the darkness of black intensifies her artwork. A lot of the lines used throughout her pieces are organic lines. Her pieces seem to flow throughout the page. There is not stark separation between anything in her pieces. The main shape used in her artwork in the shape of a boat. The combination of the organic shapes and the large contrast of colors gives off the feeling of a chaotic flow.
When talking with Tiffany about what the purpose behind her art was I was very shocked. Tiffany said that her artwork was a commentary on the Vietnamese experience and refugee struggle. The reason she wanted to address this issue is because her mother and father were apart of these refugees who had to escape from Vietnam. They escaped using boats and this is the reason for her consistent usage of boats in her artwork. The refugees would escape at night so that no one would find out. This is the reason for why her artwork is created with such dark colors surrounding the shapes. Tiffany’s family doesn’t really talk about this event and the only way Tiffany got them to tell her was by saying that it was for a school project. Before this project Tiffany hardly knew anything about her parents experience with being refugees. Each of Tiffany’s images has a story behind it. These stories come from real stories she has heard from her family of the hardships they encountered. Tiffany wanted to bring individuality to each of her art pieces. She wanted to bring light to an issue that is not really discussed in America. Also while bringing light to this issue Tiffany hopes to raise awareness for the Syrian refugees who are going through these hardships right now.
I think Tiffany’s artwork is beautiful and it really touched my heart to hear her tell us stories about what her mother and father had to go through. It is beautiful to bring awareness to such an important issue through art. This is one of the reasons I admire art so much. It has the ability to create powerful messages. I wish Tiffany the best with her future in art and hope to see her artwork again.