Kenny Nyugen’s exhibit and newest body of work, ‘Interwoven’ is spellbinding. Truly. People are stopping in their tracks and turning around to come see this newest install. Kenny, born in Vietnam, was a budding fashion designer at 18 and 19 years old. You can clearly see the relations of his fashion design and the draping of the fabric in this newest body of work. We are so fortunate to have him in Charlotte and creating these expansive and magnificent creations.
Kenny’s recent body of work has me thinking a bit. The silk he uses with acrylic and pastel on canvas is representative of his personal journey with cultural identity and integration. ‘Interwoven’ is a manifestation of the threads that tie us all together. With all the immigration and culture conversations we have going on in our country right now, I have never been more proud to represent such truth, genuineness and integrity at Sozo.
The artist begins each body of work by ripping the silk apart. In his own words, the process is “therapeutic and cathartic.” No matter how many coats of paint he pours over the silk, how much texture covers the silk, it still remains intact and unchanged at its core. These ‘silk-skins’ each have their own markings, their own personal truths, their own identity, yet at the heart of each unique piece lies the common thread, the foundation of silk that is universal amongst the works.
‘Remember who you are’ is one of the biggest truths my husband and I tell our children over and over. *Cue eye-rolling.* Despite the influences of social media, the untruths told to them by the world, the temptations, the negativity- we encourage them to remain transparent and authentic.
Like the hand dipped and manipulated silk, we all endure changes, added layers of protection and thicker skin, experiences that may shape us, but underneath all of that, the authentic self is the most beautiful self.