Jacqueline Hoàng Nguyễn

3 feb 28 mar 2021

Our names are part of our identity and influence how we define ourselves, as well as how others perceive us. Research in Sweden has shown that a job-seeker’s name can play a crucial role in the processes that lead to being called for an interview or not. Changing to a Western-sounding name has therefore been a way to sidestep racism and discrimination. At Bonniers Konsthall, the artist Jacqueline Hoàng Nguyễn presents the work Untitled (Entitled) which examines this very connection between our names and various social hierarchies.

Jacqueline Hoàng Nguyễn´s art highlights our era’s construction of identity and reveals hidden power structures. Through apparently everyday situations and stories, she shows the political relevance. Untitled (Entitled) is based on interviews with people of foreign origin who felt they needed to change their names in order to avoid discrimination. In the text-based installation, consisting of movable lenticular prints, the names of the participants are given in their native language, along with their adopted Western names. On a number of occasions during the exhibition, dancers will activate the installation through a form of performance, choreographed by Nguyễn, which has its premiere at Bonniers Konsthall. The dancers move to music composed of simple phrases that are used when learning a language, for example “my name is”.

Music: Thunder Tillman
Dance: Ama Kyei, Andrea Svensson, Mona Namer

Jacqueline Hoàng Nguyễn comes from Canada and is currently a PhD candidate in Art, Technology and Design at Konstfack and KTH Royal Institute of Technology. Her education includes the Whitney Independent Study Program in New York, the Malmö Art Academy and Concordia University in Montreal. Nguyễn’s work has been shown internationally at institutions including the Július Koller Society, Bratislava, SK (2019) CAMPLE LINE, Scotland, UK (2019) and Trinity Square Video, Toronto, CA where Untitled (Entitled) was shown (2019). Nguyễn’s work often takes the form of installations that combine audio, video, printmaking and photography. She employs a research-based process where she often uses archive material to reveal the unnoticed political relevance in overlooked histories.