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Artist Truong Tran's Solo Exhibition Featured at the Telegraph Hill Gallery "I Meant to Say, Please Pass the Sugar..."

A Reappropriation of Butterflies and the Found Image
    SAN FRANCISCO, CA, March 05, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/ -- The Telegraph Hill Gallery will open a solo exhibition featuring the work of Truong Tran during a free reception on March 7, 2014 from 6:30pm-8: 30pm, available for viewing until March 31. The exhibition, "I Meant to Say, Please Pass the Sugar..." will feature 19 works by Tran, consisting of precisely 9,000 hand-crafted butterflies, an ode to those killed for Damien Hirst's "In and Out of Love" exhibit at the Tate Modern.

"From afar, the aesthetic beauty of Truong's art is what lures you in but the subject matter is what keeps us all engaged and asking questions," said M. Madrigal, Owner of The Telegraph Hill Gallery. "It's not just about what you see but how you are processing and viewing his work."

Tran began hand-cutting his butterflies from reclaimed and recycled pornography and nature magazines back in 2010--a process he refers to as "a meditation on themes of loss and reconciliation." His resulting collection of work simultaneously attracts and repulses viewers while intermingling themes of desire, cultural appropriation and the political body. It explores how society views the body and the political implications that are embedded in our visual understanding of the images.

"One of the things that people have a hard time thinking about is the art and the artist," said Tran. "They want to draw connections between me and the art but I don't see myself in those images. I embed my identity in my process."

From fixatedly searching for new materials to impulsively crafting uniform butterflies, Tran's obsessive-compulsive drive is deeply entrenched in his art. He moves away from traditional means of creating art like painting and sculpting, finding solace in building, cutting and weaving--practices he grew up observing firsthand.

"My father was a woodworker and a man of function, creating useful objects like cabinets and boxes and my mother was a seamstress with the uncanny ability to replicate any article of clothing," said Tran. "My work celebrates their skills while using utilitarian practices as opposed to those that are framed by an academic consideration of art."

As a published poet, Tran revels in the opportunity to work beyond the limitations of language in his visual pieces. The abridged title of his exhibition is based on an old joke with a Freudian slip as the punch line. It explores the notion that while his art dives deep into the unconscious challenging both him and its viewers, there is still much to be said.

"My work is charged with unresolved issues that clearly define ones consciousness," said Tran. "I don't have any solutions but in exhibiting these images I hope to show what they are doing to our psyche and consciousness. And to me, that's where the real art lies."

The full title of Tran's exhibition is, "Or I Know You Are But What Am I Or The Fleecing of Americana Or 9000 Butterflies Or I'd Rather Do This and Call It Art Or What You've Heard Is True Or And Away We Go Or The Miseducation Of Gnourt Nart Or It's Complicated Or I Meant to Say Please Pass The Sugar."

The Telegraph Hill Gallery will also host a talk with Tran and California College of Art professor, Rebekah Edwards, which explores his choice of materials and how they echo consciousness and politics. The discussion, "In Conversation with Rebekah Edwards: Pornography and the Wish," will be held on Saturday, March 15, 2014, 6:30pm-7:30pm.


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Contact Information


M. Madrigal
The Telegraph Hill Gallery

San Francisco, CA
United States
Voice: 415-767-9794
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