How do I empower myself in a system that is designed to constantly oppress me? The desire to be empowered is admittedly acknowledged powerlessness. From this position I must resist against the powerful. How can I conjure the courage to fight such a system in power from this position? Because the desire for freedom and equity is greater than fear and anxiety.

It is my task to question this institutionalized power that operates seemingly invisible, neutral and independent. How am I subjected to this power structure in the first place? What gives a group of individuals the rights to take away my freedom, when we all are equal? It is my individual and collective duty to criticize and unmask this system not only to alter the power relations but to dismantle it.

Freedom is not a constant struggle, but a state of liberty that is my inalienable rights as a human being. I must awaken from complacency, subjacency, and the illusory comforts simulated by this system to keep me in submission. My liberation is dependent on recognizing this truth. Revelation enacts cultural revolution!


My work emerges out of realizing western art history is not my history, my assigned gender is not my identity, and my identity is not the product of my cultural values. It is my exercise in dismantling the overlapping inequity of cultural values based on religion, gender, sexuality, race, class, and the body politics — all explored as malleable and hybrid constructs of identity. It is the results of my constant need to negotiate and weave together the contested space between cultures to find the threads that connect us all.


Thinh Nguyen, a first-generation immigrant from Viet Nam, uses his body and his being to explore and expose intersections of oppressive cultural values with regards to race, class, gender, sexuality, and religion. Nguyen has lectured and exhibited internationally, most recently at The Hammer Museum, REDCAT, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibits, Human Resources, and San Diego Art Institute. He presented interventions at The New Museum, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; among others. His work has been written and featured in the Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Magazine, LA Weekly, Hyperallergic, and numerous online forums. Nguyen is currently producing a zine trilogy, D/center Whiteness (printed, April 2017), How to Decenter Your Whiteness (release Nov. 2017), and White Pathology (in progress); and a twelve months zine series, Across The American Plains that recounts a one year durational performance where he hitchhiked across the U.S. asking strangers to sleep in their homes. Nguyen holds an MFA from Claremont Graduated University and currently based in downtown Los Angeles.