wk12 – Artist Interview – Tiffany Le

Artist: Tiffany Le

Exhibition: Tàu

Media: Watercolor, Color Pencil, Ink, on Charcoal and Clayboard

Gallery: CSULB School of Arts, Dennis W Dutzi Gallery

Website: letealeaf.prosite.com

Instagram: @letealeaf

Tiffany Le, a grad student currently getting her MFA in Illustrations at CSULB, comes from a strong vietnamese background, where her parents were first generation immigrants. Much of her art, like her life, is affected by the trials and tribulations that her parents faced, mostly during the Vietnam War. She often finds herself frustrated with the lack of information given by American schools on the war, leading to her own research, specifically about misuse of government power on both sides. Not only does her artwork go into the struggles that Vietnamese have had to face since the war, but the continuing struggle asian women have to face in the eyes of society(i.e. sex toys, math savvy, and quiet).

Tiffany uses very emotional colors in her artwork, especially tones that are pretty unique to the asian culture. The red symbolizes a almost pain-like atmosphere, which is then shown directly in the face’s of her characters. All of her paintings give a sense of danger, especially when it comes to traveling, such as, a red sky, dark blue sea, and a disjointed guy. Being both big and unconventional, her artwork is not exactly the easiest thing to frame, so she covers it in acrylic sheets. In Tàu, she uses mostly watercolor and colored pencil, with the two mediums contrasting nicely because of the lawlessness of watercolor and the defining lines a colored pencil can make. Suffering is one emotion that appears most in her work, through the colors, through the faces, through the scenes, suffering from the displacement of the thousands of vietnamese is all shown.

I relate most to Tiffany when she was talking about the roles that people, specifically asian women, are given in media. I can relate because of the little box society tries to fit gay people, or the LGBT community into, where I have to be completely flamboyant or completely straight acting. Where the most common thing ill hear is, “he doesn’t look gay” (like what were they expecting? my skin to turn rainbow as soon as came out of the closet?). I personally think that the media really only favors a select demographic, with the majority of people getting mis-represented. My only problem with this view is that many people will acknowledge it, but very few will do anything about it. Ever since senior year high school, my goal has only been to be Jackson, not straight Jackson, not gay Jackson, not smart Jackson, not attractive Jackson, not anything other than the best Jackson I can be. By playing dumb and ignoring what society tells me, I am able to do things not done before and rid myself of any con formative box placed upon me, and in a complete Jackson fashion.

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