Whether it’s collage, sketches, or papercraft, it’s only takes some papers and a pair of scissors for Nhung Nguyen to create some magical art of her own.
Hello there, would you mind to introduce yourself?
Hello, my name is Nhung Nguyen and I am a French illustrator living in Paris.
What’s the first thing sparks your interest towards art?
When I was a child, I had a fascination for the painter Claude Monet, for his use of color. I still love his work. It is a world apart, there is a really a sense of color, shapes are random, we have the feeling that we are with him in his atelier in Giverny. I remember that I have participated to a contest in a children magazine, on garden subject, and I try to draw with charcoals…and I won!
Why do you choose paper/collage as your medium of works?
I always drew with traditionnal way (color pencils, watercolor) but one day, I tried cutting shapes in papers, inspiring from Matisse collage and Simon Hantai folded canvas and I do not get tired to do that. There is a universe that I try to develop. My art is to do things with sensitivity and heart. I try to develop a fragile and graceful expression by cutting shapes in colourful sheets of paper. I choose paper/collagebecause I can work in two or three dimensions to make an illustration or a design. It is also an elegant medium: paper changes appearences depending on the density of the light. I can choose different types of paper depending on the thickness and colors.
What it feels like for you to be raised in Paris, how is your childhood upbringing related with your work?
It is exciting to live in Paris. Paris is a very inspiring city for its history, its creativity and variety of artisitic scene for music, visuals arts, architecture and fashion. My parents are not at all in the field of art. I have always drawn since I was a child. I have always loved everything artistic. I read and watched a lot of books. But I was always curious and I always wanted to know more. That’s why I studied in Fines Art school called la Villa Arson at Nice, in French Riviera. In this school, I tried to experiment several mediums more traditionnal (such as painting, silkscreen, wood and metal sculpture, drawing, photography, ceramics) as well as modern mediums like the digital pole with video, sound and performance. Then, I returned to Paris for an internship with the photojournalist Reza, in the Webistan agency. I realized that I liked working with pictures. Little by little, I have realised that Illustration I like above all, and I have never stopped practicing.
How do you get the inspirations? Any particular things inspire you at this moment?
Everything and everywhere. Cinema, music… I mainly like to watch people walking in the street, sitting in a café. I like to draw my inspiration from life.
I know you’ve been making series about Jacques Demy, what prompt you to do that?
I did these series because there is the retrospective of the famous French filmmaker, Jacques Demy (The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, Donkey Skin, The Young Girls of Rochefort). There is an exhibition currently at La Cinémathèque française in Paris, where they had organised an evening show for young people in art school, and I was able to participate. Donkey Skin is one of my best movies that I love. I like the colorful and musical world of this film.
What else you enjoy beside art?
I love travelling! Last year, I went to Cambodia and discovered Angkor temples. I fell in love with this place. I can not wait to find other places in the world. I love discovering new cultures and new landscapes.
I love also cooking. I love sharing my table with friends. I love making cakes with my sister who is great at baking delicious pastries.
I am actually working on a children book, fingers crossed!