Vietnamese student association GALA art auction 2023

“Last Night I Dreamt…” explores the transformative journey of healing your inner child and dreaming. Featuring artwork from selected Asian American creatives, each piece expresses self through multiple mediums, exploring themes of trauma, resilience, and hope.

But this exhibit is more than just a celebration of art; it is also a meaningful way to support an important cause. All proceeds from this auction will go towards One Body Village, a charity that has dedicated itself to rescue, restoration, and prevention of child sexual exploitation in southeast Asia. By participating in this auction, you have the opportunity to not only own a beautiful piece of art but also to contribute to the crucial work of supporting vulnerable children and communities.

ASU VSA and TARO Magazine

Curated by Kaitlynn Le for TARO Magazine

Bejeweled (2023) Traditional Graphite Pencil

Portrait of Taylor Swift, my favorite musician and lyricist. I drew this in honor of her latest album, “Midnights,” and one of my favorite songs on the album, “Bejeweled”. I have been a fan of Taylor’s music since I first heard “Love Story” on the radio in my mom’s car, and my love for her artistry has only grown since.

Brianna Le aka TrinhDrawss

Vietnamese

Short Artist Bio

Brianna Le, aka TrinhDrawss, is a Barrett freshman majoring in Kinesiology in the College of Health solutions at Arizona State University. She hopes to go to Physical Therapy school for her DPT after completing her undergraduate degree. For fun, she loves to draw, listen to music, watch her favorite shows, and hang out with her friends.

PERSONAL HEALING

Starting at ASU last semester, I was overwhelmed with new responsibilities, a new environment, and the fear of the unknown. I became burnt out countless times after every big assignment I completed or new social event I attended. Despite the number of people I was meeting and how successful I was in my new classes, I still felt out of place, and I missed my childhood friends. I would resort to unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as rumination and scrolling on my phone in between classes, assignments, or late at night for comfort. During an appointment with my therapist, I mentioned this, and she recommended that rather than using my alone time in ways that were not relaxing, I should use that time to work on my hobbies. So, I turned on my favorite music, pulled out my sketchbook, and began drawing whenever I needed a break. Drawing gave me a sense of peace I had forgotten about in the midst of my overwhelming new life, and it lessened my constant anxieties about finding my place at ASU both socially and academically. The balance my art provided allowed me to reflect on my goals, passions, and traits I was looking for in the friends I hoped to find. Since then, I have found a wonderful group of people I enjoy hanging out with and have begun to solidify the academic goals I hope to achieve. I would not be who I am today without my artwork.

COMMUNICATION

The level of detail I use to capture the essence of those I draw and the titles I create for my drawings demonstrate the love and respect I hold for the people I draw. For example, in 2021, Marvel released “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” and I was incredibly moved to see an Asian superhero as the main character of a Marvel film. I spent hours drawing the lead characters, Xu Shang-Chi and Xu Xialing, in painstaking detail to demonstrate how much I valued their work for the AAPI community in Hollywood. Using quotes from the actors and their characters, I would describe in my captions and titles the impact they had on me, as a young Asian American woman at a predominantly white school at the time. I hope that, in capturing the beauty of these people, viewers understand the level of admiration I have for those I draw.

does your cultural identity play a role in your art?

My cultural identity as an Asian American woman inspires me to draw individuals from minority groups. In high school, I was surrounded by people who did not look like me. It was rare to find another person of color at that school. Once I found them, I stuck with them. Their stories, which were never identical to my own, motivated me to advocate for minority voices in media through my artwork. By improving my craft, drawing minority public figures, and sharing these pieces with the world, I hope to show other young minority individuals that they can be successful at whatever they do, even when they feel outcasted or outnumbered.

INTERCULTURAL DIALOGUE

I believe that sharing personal stories of cultural experiences can promote intercultural dialogue and understanding. By sharing stories through artwork, both artists and regular viewers can learn about the struggles different cultural groups face. Art that focuses on this type of storytelling demonstrates that oppression is multifaceted and harmful to many people, allowing minority groups to unite through the beauty and vulnerability of the art piece.

INSPIRATION THROUGH CONSUMPTION

Consuming art has shaped me into the person I am today. Representation in art, such as dance, music, film, drawings, and paintings has allowed me to embrace my own identity as a bisexual, Asian American woman. As a teenager, being surrounded by non-minority individuals was isolating. Through art, however, I could peacefully embrace my identity. For example, with the release of Alice Oseman’s “Heartstopper” series, I was overjoyed to read a story emphasizing that others have also felt isolated from their peers because of their identity. I would oftentimes find myself reading Alice’s comics, admiring her success as a graphic novelist and screenwriter, while also finding peace in knowing that people like myself, Charlie Spring and Nick Nelson, can be happy despite what their peers may say about them. Art has allowed me to come out to my friends, feel comfortable talking about different facets of my identity, and share my story so others feel less alone.

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Nhà Xưa Bên Cạnh Nhà Nay (Ancient House Next to Present House) (2023) Photograph, Ink on Paper.

Nhà Xưa Bên Cạnh Nhà Nay (Ancient House Next to Present House) (2023) Photograph, Ink on Paper.

As a Việt Kiều born in Phoenix, Arizona, I have always wondered what “home” means. I would hear old Vietnamese songs talk about “quê hương” (hometown), but it never made sense to me. I could not quite place Phoenix as my quê hương. Throughout my childhood, my peers and adults made me feel unwelcome in my own birthplace. In any case, these pictures come from my first visit to Vietnam in two decades. Despite that, it felt closer to what I imagined home would be. I hope these images remind you of somewhere like home, too.

Brandon Tran aka Luân

Vietnamese

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SHORT ARTIST BIO

Brandon Tran, aka Luân, is a Phoenix-based photographer, musician, and designer. His work primarily focuses on transitions between love & memory and the space between dreaming & yearning.

PERSONAL HEALING

Art for me is always an expression of healing and a celebration of life. However, back during the early days of the pandemic–between Covid-19 fears and violence against Asians–art was all I had. I had a hard time making sense of anything, but I would go on bike rides with my camera. It brought me peace, as this small act of joy.

Communication

It’s difficult to express how meaningful, beautiful, or even painful a moment is to others. However, photography allows me to at least capture what those experiences and feelings looked like–sometimes literally. Pairing my photos with words has allowed me to reach people who I’ve never even met before. And that is special to me.

does your cultural identity play a role in your art?

I was born to and raised by Vietnamese parents who raised me on stories, movies, and music from Vietnam. No matter where my work is made, it will always be Vietnamese art–because I am Vietnamese. And so, my work carries with it the burdens, joys, and yearnings of a Việt Kiều.

INSPIRATION THROUGH CONSUMPTION

Consuming art is central to my development as an artist and as a person. Whenever a piece of art–music, photo, movie, painting–resonates with me, I feel alive. Sometimes, a work can be so meaningful that it reframes how I see things in my own life. Recently, Tlinh’s song “nếu lúc đó” has helped me reframe certain aspects of grief as gratitude.

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Break (2023), Digital

A depiction of an original character. Though inspired by pop culture such as anime and tokusatsu, the character is used to symbolize spiritual freedom and self-acceptance.

Eamon Win aka burm

Burmese

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SHORT ARTIST BIO

Eamon Win, aka Burm, is a second-year at Arizona State University studying illustration. He focuses on character work.

Personal Healing

Creating art has always been my way of going about life. Over time, the process of drawing had been fortified as my primary method of expression and acceptance of self.

Communication

Whether it is a depiction of a character from a piece of pop culture that I enjoy or that of my own, there is always a little bit of me in there. I tend to use my inspirations and symbols in my characters as a way to express myself to others. I also visualize certain scenes and/or colors based on sounds and imagery that I often consume.

does your cultural identity play a role in your art?

While my cultural identity itself has not been explored much throughout my art, I tend to incorporate the element of being outcast into my characters, a feeling that I have experienced in most stages of my life. I found that where ever I move, there is always the looming feeling of not being assimilated or even being shunned. Through my art, I am able to come to terms with my identity.

Inspiration through consumption

I find consuming art to be a process of exploration. By understanding what other artists are able to communicate, I am able to take in what I learn and find myself. It can range from being able to relate to a character or setting to understanding an overall message and contemplating how to live by it.

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Haze (2023) Mixed Media

Looking back, I can’t seem to recall much of what happened back then. I only really remember the pain of it all.

Ethan TSE aka 35ppcurated

Chinese

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SHORT ARTIST BIO

Ethan Tse, aka 35PPCURATED, is a 4th year studying Business Communications at Arizona State University that likes to create and consume.

Personal healing

Art has helped me heal by taking the forms of many different media that encapsulated my experiences to some degree. Think characters in movies or television shows that go through arcs of self development. While I realize they are not a one to one reflection of who I am and can be, they showed me that others have felt this way as well and that there is still reason to keep moving forward.

Communication

Art has allowed me to communicate my emotions and experiences by being ambiguous. It allows me to openly express myself and without letting others catch on to what I am trying to say.

does your cultural identity play a role in your art?

In this case, yes. In most cases, not really. It played a role by being a minority in the current discussion surrounding the topic today.

Intercultural dialogue

Definitely! An ox will recognize what another ox paints because they lived similar enough lives. I haven’t faced any challenges because I know that by just creating, I will have left enough dialogue because I am simply a sum of what I’ve experienced.

Inspiration through consumption

Consuming art forces you to talk to yourself. When looking at a piece, the first thing you do is try to make sense of what it is. Then you try and see where the artist is coming from, which is where you start talking to yourself. “Why did they choose to portray it like that?” “What inspired them to use this method?” By asking these questions, I believe we unconsciously inject ourselves into the art we consume.

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Goblet & Cup fired to Bisque (2023),Ceramics

Planter & Pitcher (2023), Ceramics

These bisque-fired pieces are hand-thrown on the wheel and trimmed by me, and they are ready to be glazed! Glazing can be done any time at Burst Of Butterflies, Chandler.

Francheska ashley juban

Filipino

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SHORT ARTIST BIO

Francheska Ashley Juban is a graduating senior studying Supply Chain Management at ASU. She took up throwing on the wheel as a hobby for the new year, and has fallen in love with the art.

Personal healing

I started throwing on the wheel about 4 months ago, and it genuinely has been my peace and quiet. When the world and everyday life becomes hectic, going into the studio and making the time to create some ceramic art has forced me to focus all of my energy into small things for small moments. This has been an integral part of my personal journey of healing. I think everyone should try to set a time to hone in and work on a skill or a hobby, at least a couple times a week because it is extremely grounding and rewarding.

COmmunication

I think that often I refused to regard myself as an artist or someone creative, just because I wasn’t setting aside the time to create “physical, tangible art”. However, I definitely can see that I expressed so much of my emotions and feelings through the way I dressed, and even through creative writing. I grew up stuffing all of those feelings and emotions deep down, but in the past 2 years I’ve been making big strides to be more expressive about my inner feelings and emotions. This is so important because we all should strive to be ourselves in all situations.

does your cultural identity play a role in your art?

Oh, 100%. I think that I draw a lot of inspiration from the things that I grew up around, and the items that surround me in my every day life. Although my exact intersectionality is not physically clearly expressed through my art, I think that they play a massive role in what I find inspiring.

Intercultural dialogue

Art is a universal language; we can see this at museums, we don’t need a translator to express emotions — whether that is through dance, paintings, drawings, music, ceramics, etc. It is extremely important that we make efforts to shed light on smaller up-and-coming artists, as well as make references to past artists who paved the way for us.

INSPIRATION THROUGH CONSUMPTION

Consuming art is how I, personally, stay inspired. I don’t often feel like I run out of ideas or things to make, because everyday I am taking pictures of cool ceramics I come by, or even interesting textures and designs on objects I see wherever I am.

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