Parsons School of Design

BFA Communication Design

Thesis 2014

Phuong Nguyen
Phuong Nguyen

Speech/Contact investigates the interrelationship between personal history and collective history through building narratives between cultural signals, relational bodies, and shifting identities. A series of body sculpture, film and performance are made to explore socially and culturally prescribed gestures, as well as, the way gestures are archived, transmitted, and performed through the body and language of the body. These various modes of inquiry and interpretation aim to create a dialogue between gestures, culture and personal identity, or to question how culture is embedded, preserved and transformed in movements and mannerism of one’s body, how language and gesture reflect cultural decay and transformation, how memories are enacted and decayed through and with the body. Sculpture 1 is a relational object that creates links between two bodies that aim to create tension and constraint in movement. The audience is asked to move/dance while wearing the object together. Sculpture 2 is a relational object that creates tension or dialogue between two people. The audience is asked to write/draw while wearing the object together. Sculpture 3 is a performative hand fan that explore relationship between culture, language and the body. The gestures performed are then used to play/ alter an audio composition of spoken words, voices, conversation and found sentences. Sculpture 4 consists of hand-made soaps with Vietnamese and english proverbs embedded inside. The message is transformed/ decayed with the body, representing how the body is consuming messages from both culture and language. Two-channel video projections include two experimental videos that explore body movements, body language, and interpersonal communication.






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