This week, our first artist documentary, Honoring Life: The Work of Trinh Mai, was screened at the Oceanside Museum of Art, just a few feet away from Trinh Mai’s current exhibition, a solo show called Lifeline. According to the artist, “Lifeline provides an intimate glimpse into the interconnectedness that bears witness to both life’s fragility and the weight that it tethers to our core. These shared, lived, and inherited stories have been woven into this delicate collection of work, rewritten as a prayer for light upon the weary and heavy-laden.”
Trinh Mai is a second-generation Vietnamese-American whose work communicates a deep spiritual connection to the culture and heritage she documents, frequently using found objects.
The event was part of Oceanside Museum of Art’s ongoing class and lecture series. Museum members and art appreciators gathered in the Van Hunnick Education Center to mingle and enjoy coffee, juice, bagels and pastries. Then everyone took their seats for the main event.
In the film, Trinh Mai shares her inspirations, from nature to her Vietnamese heritage. Across oil, charcoal, photographs, ink, thread, and found objects, her underlying intention to honor life always shines through regardless of medium.
See an excerpt of the film below, and visit the artist page for more clips and the full film HERE.
When the film ended, the artist gave a talk, which was followed by an engaging Q&A session.
Trinh’s exhibition will be on display at the museum through March 5, but her work with the museum will continue through March 18, as she’ll be facilitating a workshop titled, “Trinh Mai: A Time to Heal.” In partnership with MiraCosta College Veterans Service, Trinh will be working with local war veterans on a collaborative fine art project. “With a mission to harness creativity in the process of documenting veterans’ stories, the artist and veterans will create biographical mixed media works that touch on themes of memory, resilience, and healing.”
The theme of the workshop pairs with Trinh’s installation piece, which is titled War Wounds.
In her statement about the work, Trinh writes, “The delicate materials used to craft these physical and emotional wounds speak on their sensitive, tender nature. These lacerations have afflicted us with discomfort, pain, and heartache, but like salt on an open wound, the sting somehow aids in our healing. And although this suffering is hardly welcomed, it has the potential of serving as a catalyst for a period of transformation and revival, igniting a strength within us that we might have not known existed otherwise.”
Before leaving the screening event, we captured a photo of Trinh with our Executive Producers David Fokos, Barbarella Fokos, and Chris Fessenden.
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