American fiber artist Angela Anh Nguyen (b. 1995 California) reinterprets the technique of tufting as an anti-establishment medium of self-expression.
Deeply informed by the artist’s background as a first generation American and child of Vietnamese immigrants in Los Angeles, Anh Nguyen’s meticulously tufted rugs subvert archetypes of American society from a working-class perspective. Her figurative rugs present life-size caricatures drawn from our chaotic modern age, from a bitcoin obsessed stockbroker to a flattened police officer bleeding blue, that speak to our general state of anxiety with a sense of humor and understanding. Her more traditional rectangular and circular “rug-shaped” compositions collage together cartoon characters, newspaper headlines, viral memes, and sports themes – playfully giving form to the mythologies that constitute the cultural ground beneath our feet.
Anh Nguyen introduces sustainability and small-scale production to tufting (a medium traditionally associated with industrial manufacturing) by using salvaged acrylic and merino wool waste, collected from thrift stores and textile businesses across the United States.