2021 Faculty Art Exhibition - Biddy Tran

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An asian woman pouring coffee in a room
Remaster No. 3 (from The Psychology of Repetition series), 2019

Pastel on Paper
18 x 16 inches

An asian woman with a globe in a room
Remaster No. 2 (from The Psychology of Repetition series), 2019

Pastel on Paper
20 x 18 inches

An asian woman weighing something in a room
Remaster No. 5 (from The Psychology of Repetition series), 2020

Pastel on Paper
18 x 16 inches

My work is focused on questions of capitalist hegemony, postcoloniality, and hegemony within art, representation and imaging. The Psychology of Repetition is a series of single images comprising a larger body of work that produces these questions. It examines repetition as a human impulse through a range of lenses, including personal confession, Freudian theory and the histories of colonialization, globalized culture and economy. Composed of digital files, collages and pastel drawings, the series remasters and reinhabits works by Dutch painter, Johannes Vermeer. Each image is the same dimension and formal composition as its respective Vermeer original. The occupants, props and history that constitute Vermeer’s works are erased, rewritten and reprocessed through montage. In lieu of the oils preferred by 17th century European painters, The Psychology of Repetition employs the material impermanence and fragility of soft pastel. In the spirit of undermining conventions of historic imaging and representation, the nature of my practice is interdisciplinary and research oriented. The work itself tends to take the form of interactive installation and architectural modification that incorporate and re-present traditional art objects (drawing, painting, photography, sculpture) as well as “new media” (video, sound, interactive media). The hope is that viewers become aware of themselves perceiving and consuming “art” and will reconsider the politics of representation as critical and active participants.

Biddy Tran’s current work concerns matters of postcoloniality, capitalist hegemony, and historic imaging and represention. Her practice includes studio work, curation and writing. She received her M.F.A in art from CalArts and B.A in art, summa cum laude, with an emphasis in New Genres from UCLA. She was commencement speaker for her graduating class. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant and Puffin Foundation Artist Grant. Tran has exhibited internationally and has curated and published essays for socially critical exhibitions including Narcissism, the Real, the Fake and the Anti-Digital Impulse (2012) and The Road to Hell is Paved (2010). In 2020 her work was acquired and exhibited by the Palais de Beaux Arts in Vienna, Austria. Tran considers teaching part of her artistic practice, and has taught at Cal State University, Long Beach, Cerritos College and Cuesta College. She currently lives and works in Long Beach, CA.

Biddy Tran began teaching at Cerritos College in 2015, including ART110 (Freehand Drawing) and ART192 (Photoshop/Digital Imaging).