Remembering Nuong – A Retrospective

If writers often write about what they know, does the same hold true for printmakers? Perhaps for Nuong Tran it does. Nuong Van-Dinh Tran was a founding member of Washington Printmakers Gallery. She remained a member of the gallery until her death in 2013. In this retrospective of Nuong’s work, we’re invited to enjoy a peacefulness that scenes of domestic familiarity bring. Here we see a view of the backyard from what is most likely a bedroom window. In another print, we’re in the yard looking up to the sky, through the leafless oak tree towering beside the house. In another, we get a close-up of deep-red peonies that line the yard’s fence. We also get a snapshot of Ling-Ling, Nuong’s black cat as he prowls the yard on an autumn afternoon. All these scenes are ever so familiar. Perhaps that’s why the prints make such an impact, the simplicity of Nuong’s images allow us an intimacy we might otherwise overlook in the familiar. Even her abstracts convey a simplicity in form and boldness of color that is both intimate and familiar. Who was Nuong? Her prints tell us much about what inspired her – nature – specifically water lilies, trees and butterflies. In this memorial retrospective we’re also invited to be inspired by the simple beauty of the familiar. What a wonderful celebration of life!

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