Baik Art Gallery




Christine Nguyen

February 27 – April 2, 2016 | press release





Baik Art presents The Cosmic Long Return, a solo exhibition composed of cyanotypes by Long Beach based artist Christine Nguyen whose artworks combine drawing, photographic techniques, and scientific processes to express the cosmoses of human consciousness from the wonders of the sea to the central point of a single star.

The exhibition space will be filled with hues of blue and salt crystals combined into Nguyen’s artworks, through which she offers air and optimism. Her cyanotypes personalize the artist’s perceptual complexity while turning our impulses away from wearisome events in daily life. Along with objects that speak of Nguyen’s process, the installation will also serve the artist’s ongoing commentary regarding twenty-first century earthbound beings imagining faraway places. As Robert Fludd (1574-1637), one of Nguyen’s inspirations along with naturalists like Ernst Haeckel (1834-1919), botanist Anna Atkins (1799-1871), and wilderness preservationist John Muir (1838-1914), believed…every plant in the world has its own equivalent star in the sky, and there is a connection between the microcosmic world of the earth and the macrocosmic world of the heavens.

Light, time, and gravity came into our lives affecting our very perception of the universe. One day, the British astronomer William Herschel (1738-1822) is found talking to his son about gravity and the stars, ghosts, and how light travels to us. His son John Herschel (1792-1871) coined the term “photography” after his father passed away, and believed it to be a form of light and memories transformed into time travel. In 1842, Sir John Herschel invented the cyanotype, which is also known as ferroprussiate or blueprint.

For Nguyen, The Cosmic Long Return is made of specific places, only as conceived visually, emotionally, and transcendentally. Walking down into her installation, the viewer encounters a blue-toned environment with scientifically derived objects and images that reference the vast dimensions of life; from seaweed under the sea to the sunflowers growing on freshly turned soil, while stars and the ethers of outer space float overhead.

Nguyen has been connected to the sea from childhood. Her father (a commercial fisherman) frequently traveled up and down the coast of California. She started collecting specimens from the ocean and nature at a young age, eventually using them in her drawings and photographs. Cyanotype, also known as ‘sun prints,’ is an early nineteenth-century photographic process that was used by naturalists and botanists to document specimens not unlike the ones amassed by Nguyen. She uses sunlight to expose the paper that creates these magical works, capturing the auras of nature.