Treat Yourself, (2022)
Bath towel, neon sign, wooden stool, plastic beads, spigots, aluminum basins, peel and stick printed canvas
BACK TO ARTIST
“ In these installations, I explicitly want people to feel uncomfortable—to inhabit a space of discomfort through the juxtaposition of incongruous elements in the work. These works make plain the dark, ironic quality.
In the wake of the horrors of the Atlanta Spa Shootings and the deaths of 39 Vietnamese human trafficking victims inside a transport lorry in the UK, the nation (and world) was confronted by a series of difficult conversations and images.
Within the intensity of my own response, as an Asian American woman who lives in intimate proximity to this horror and fear (I have family members and family friends who work in the nail service industry), I was reminded of the image of Christ washing the feet of his disciples. I thought of painters like Brown and Tintoretto, who were both fascinated by the scene. I thought about how, as a society, we clearly haven’t understood this lesson of humility and service — we don’t know what it means to wash one another’s feet—just like we haven’t comprehended the meaning of ‘love thy neighbor’. Only some are doing the washing. The water, foot washing, and bathing references (the US, Europe, Middle East and Jesus’ home in Nazareth), and play into a wider theme of global entanglements.
My feelings towards the Christian scene weren’t naively reverential. They were far more complicated and ambivalent. Besides the unspeakable violence that’s been levied in the name of Christianity, Christ is too often invoked superficially—made a brand to sell merchandise such as bath towels and whatnot. “
– MyLoan Dinh