The landscape paintings of Los Angeles artist Hung Viet Nguyen observe specimens in the Ancient Bristlecone Pine forest, an old-growth forest in Central California with trees over four-thousand years old. Though each specimen is centrally composed, Nguyen develops animated relationships between the foreground, middle ground, and background. Nguyen’s heavily built-up surfaces add sculptural dimension, while each section is stylistically compartmentalized. Nguyen’s paintings through their use of saturated pigments, visual contrast, and physicality express a fully-realized exploration of the creative process through the artist's ongoing involvement with this site.
I have visited the Ancient Bristlecone Pine forest (Big Pine city, California) for many times (2003, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2012, 2015, 2016,...). The trees grow between 9,800 and 11,000 feet (3000-3400m) above sea level. Many are well over 2,000 years old, and some of the oldest in the forest are dated at more than 4,000 years old. Each tree has his/her own space, not growing very close to each others as other trees in other forest. It took me many years in order to feel and understand a little about these trees, so that I can slowly start creating a new series painting: " ANCIENT PINES".
How do the trees survive for many centuries within hash environment and poor nutrition soil? Beside that, they are so beautiful and unique! While looking at the ancient pine trees, either at the forest or at the photos I took, I am also thinking about the arts, the artists, myself,… something I can relate!
(2015 - present)