Shaye Dương’s work explores the nuanced concept of home, interrogating its cultural and social associations as a site of intimacy, security and ritual. Her curiosity arises from her complex relationship with the Vietnamese diasporic experience and her dual position as an active participant and passive spectator of her culture. In exploring the shifting nature of migrant experiences, Dương reflects on the idea of cultural authenticity and translation and the ongoing processes of feeling at home in the world.
Dương uses materials sourced from her neighbourhood, blending Vietnamese and Western imagery to create sculptures that are both familiar and foreign to viewers. In Faltar, suburban breeze blocks support the weight of an ancestral shrine made from wax casts. The shrine highlights Duong’s connection to this sacred material, but also evokes a sense of scepticism and doubt through its fragility. Mystic Not, No Laughing and Mock Abalone use self-taught methods of traditional Vietnamese cultural art practices, such as knot tying, carving vegetable garnishes and lacquer and shell painting. In this way, Duong attempts to find a closer connection and understanding of her culture that is both spiritually and physically out of reach.