Dana Nguyễn

I have always been fascinated with antiques as a child. The tangibility of objects that hold unknown memory to me brings forth a world of wonder. I am drawn to the care that comes with carved wooden objects such as 19th century carved cigar boxes. Woodwork is constantly handled, shaped to become a new piece. The labor in handling and carving to me is a significant act of care and thoughtfulness. I regard family photographs in the same way. They are jagged at the edges, folded, taped up. I carve wooden frames to hold certain photographs, which has me handling my tools with intense precision. I think of who I want to hold in these forms of growth. When I trace my mother’s features in photographs, I am caressing her face from memory and think of her silhouette in relation to the planets. The creases of the eyes remind me of the way I trace tree bark with my fingers.