Artist from Saigon May Ta obscures the motifs of her nuanced paintings with leaves, long strands of hair, splayed hands and subdued light. With muted tones and saturation, she works mostly with gouache to render lonely women in domestic settings and create introspective scenes that question what is visible. “The darkness in my work represents my own inability to be confident of who I am,” says the artist Colossal. “It’s easier to hide behind my hair (shadows, plants, anything) than to be honest about how I really feel.”
Many of the pieces come from the background of Ta, although she tries to combine her experiences and those of the audience. I set the moon on fire because she wouldn’t wake up, A series that consisted of many of the paintings shown here helped her realize that “exploring my own personal narrative and emotions can be both therapeutically and visually exciting,” she says. “I’ve been working on how my friends’ and (mine) rooftop moon-watching sessions have moved me. I’ve been working over my own heartbreak. I’ve been working on missing and loving Vietnam.”
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