A Hamburger explodes on a toy bus, a Kathrin sleeps, pig's trotters are the frame for seven jelly babies in red, yellow and green. Cat Tuong Nguyen's works seem bizarre and odd, one keeps looking for coherence. Alas, the context lies deeper.
The artist captivates in the art of photography through his headstrong and poetic oeuvres. Photographs, collages, photographs from magazines that have been painted over, which accumulate a cosmos of imagery, both bursting with content and visually concise. The works are dense, complex, tender and reckless at the same time. They gather oddities, jests and the abysmal.
Intensely disputing the circumstances of our lives, the Vietnamese artist picks up on social and political events. Yet, he is also tracing the individual's emotional sphere, which is blazing its own trail in the reality of ordinary life.
Cat Tuong Nguyen's pictures, as playful as they may seem, are based on profound existential experiences such as emigration, integration into a new country and the sight of a different society and culture. This lends them an air of explosiveness. Underdog Suite is the first artist book by and about Cat Tuong Nguyen.
The mostly unpublished single takes, series and picture cluster form the book's personality. Two essays mediate manifold impressions. Underdog Suite is not the average monograph, but a dance of pictures which has been conducted by Cat Tuong Nguyen himself.
Cat Tuong Nguyen - Underdog Suite
Photographs and Collages 1996–2009
With contributions by Burkhard Meltzer And Nadine Olonetzky
Verlag Scheidegger & Spiess
555 colour and b/w pictures
20 cm x 26 cm
RRP 55 €