Mai Nguyễn-Long is an artist, academic and storyteller whose mixed heritage informs the tapestry of narratives that live through her work. Born in Tasmania to a Vietnamese father and Australian mother, Nguyễn-Long’s formative years were spent living in Papua New Guinea as well as the Philippines. As an adult, Mai Nguyễn-Long has lived in Australia and China, however, it was her pilgrimage to Vietnam that has had the most profound influence on the aesthetic and theoretical direction of her art.
Since the early 2000’s, Nguyễn-Long’s practice has seen many iterations, consistent in narrative but materially diverse. Her work endeavours to crystallise her own identity, interrogating her migrations and acknowledging what was left behind. In 2017 Nguyễn-Long made her first Vomit Girl from clay, a moment that would direct the next six years of her art and education.
The story of Vomit Girl is one of family history and belonging, and is the subject of her PhD, recently acquired from the University of Wollongong. Vomit Girl is a symbol of what has been erased and speaks broadly to diasporic trauma following the atrocities of the Vietnam War. Through her Vomit Girl installations, Mai Nguyễn-Long collides cultural artefacts and personal histories, borrowing from Vietnamese rural aesthetics known as mộc mạc. Mai Nguyễn-Long’s armies of Vomit Girl sculptures have make-believe conversations and are artistic devices that attempt to mend what feels irreparably broken.
In recent years Mai Nguyễn-Long’s articulation through clay has seen her profile consistently rise within Australian art circles. In 2022 her work exhibited at the 12th Berlin Biennale, and she now joins Michael Reid Sydney + Berlin as a represented artist. Vomit Girl Stories is Nguyen-Long’s first exhibition with the Gallery, and will show in Sydney from August 3 – September 2, 2023.
The success of Mai Nguyễn-Long’s practice is firmly attributed to her universal vision, which reconciles personal loss whilst supplying her audience with agency to ponder what may be missing for themselves.
Works in this exhibition are now available to acquire. To begin a conversation please be in touch with email@example.com