Jacqueline Hoàng Nguyễn

3 feb23 may 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.

Nguyễn´s art highlights our era’s construction of identity and reveals hidden power structures. Through apparently everyday situations and stories, she shows its 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”.

Dance: Gülbeden Kulbay, Ama Kyei, Mona Namer, Andrea Svensson
Stylist: Amanda Ferrada
Technician: Isak Nordell
Graphic Design: Chris Lee

Music: Thunder Tillman
Voice performers: Rob Andersson, Pontus Berghe, Erola Boix, Maj Hasager, Riccardo Malacalza, Elena Strempek, Oscar Tillman, Casey Wei
Audio sources: Dennis Pollard – “Spanish 277 – Reading, Grammar, and Composition”
FutureLearn – “How to say the alphabet in Dutch”
Howcast – “How to Say the Alphabet | Spanish Lessons”, “How to Say the Alphabet in German | German Lessons”
LanguageSheep – “HEISSEN – to be called”
Learn German with GermanPod101.com – “How to Pronounce German Like a Native Speaker”
Portuguese Guru – “Alphabet in European Portuguese | Alfabeto em Português Europeu (Portugal)”
PronounceNames.com – “How to Pronounce Joaquin”
T3AM Production – “White Privilege” by Kyla Jenee Lacey
Vuxnas lärande Karlskoga Degerfors – “Uttal – Y”

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.