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MYLYN NGUYEN, collecting & recycling to build a fascinating world

Words by Lula Criado

Bombus (2014)

So bear folded me a paper boat, packed my lunch, pointed west and told me to go and learn something (2014). Exhibition view, Brenda May Gallery, Sydney

Imagination and an open mind are two of the most powerful weapons of the creative process and the artistic work of Australian visual artist Mylyn Nguyen is a fantastic example of both. Mylyn takes our hand and leads us on a wonderful journey through her captivating imaginary universe which is inhabited by tiny creatures and animals such as bees, beetles or bears living in perfect harmony.

These figurative small sculptures and installations are made from objects and natural materials she finds everywhere. Moss, pebbles, clay, twigs, sugar or spoons are some of the things she collects and recycles to build a fascinating world that helps us understand that we can find beauty in unexpected places and things.

nguyen_dirt(wolf) copia

Dirt (Wolf)(2012)

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The Dung Beetle+The Dung Seed Bomb (2014)

What is more important: to take or not to take yourself too seriously in order to be creative?

I take myself seriously up until 1:00am. 1:01am and onwards, it’s the crazy ideas and the milk teas that give me the creative power (like spinach).

What’s your favourite time of the day?


Solitude or loneliness, how do you spend your time alone?

Solitude for the flesh and bones me, but loneliness for me the protagonist.

Have you found beauty in unexpected places/situations?

Yes, I have a mini birdhouse made out of a pub ale box hidden in a tree in suburban Portland.

What do you want to achieve before you die?

If I died tomorrow, I would like to make sure that George (my dog) is taken care of and my family and friends know that I love them and that it’s just the way it is.

If I died next month, I would like to finish my koi pond beforehand.

If I died next year or the year after, I think I would have taken care of the first two already, so it’s ok.

One for the road… What are you unafraid of?

I am unafraid of change.

(All photos courtesy the Artist and Brenda May Gallery, Sydney)
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