Phong Nguyen is a first generation born Asian American muralist, who grew up in Austin, Minnesota. He graduated from high school in 2006 and received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Minneapolis College of Art & Design in the Spring of 2011.
Q. 5 words that best describe your artwork.
“symbolic, energetic, weird, abstract, figurative.”
Q. Influences/ Inspiration (friends, family, other artists)
“My parents influence me the most because they fled their own countries on a long journey that lead them half way across the world in a foreign land with absolutely nothing but the clothing they were wearing and an unborn child (me). Other influences include my artist friends from Black Collar, Cognition kids, and fellow colleagues that are doing the same thing we are doing.”
Q. What are you currently working on?
“I’m currently working on helping my buddy out at Black Collar Studios on a “wheat pasting project, my own identity, and trying to propell a live painting group ive been involved with called “The Cognition Kids”, (I DIDNT COME UP WITH THE NAME OF THE GROUP….)”
Q. If you weren’t doing art, what would you do?
“If I wasn’t making “art” today I would have done the cliche’ Asian American route by becoming a businessman. I’d probably be carrying around a suite case, sporting the clip on tie, and clean cut hair.”
Q. If someone gave you a billion dollars, what would you do with it?
“First I would hire multiple lawyers and accountants so I don’t get hustled out of my new fortune I’ve received. Second I would build set up a duel citizenship for my parents so they can live in their new mansion(s) in Vietnam, Hong Kong and San Fransisco Bay Area. Third I’d like to invest my own time and money into making REAL change in our societies underprivileged class maybe I’ll become a politician or revolutionary radical.”
Q. Do yeti’s exist?
“Yeti’s do exist…I haven’t seen one myself but they are around.”
Q. What music influences you the most?
“I am pretty multi-genre when it comes to my musical influences. I’ll just list a few artists that I can think of…sound tribe sector 9, ratatat, luke vibert, boxcutter, excision, project aspect, major lazer, RIP EYEDEA & dj abilities, tipper, Air, Flying Lotus, Rusko, Diplo, Gorillaz, Melvins and Lustmord, Mimosa, mogwai, ronald jenkees, pretty lights etc.. etc…”
Q. Are there any current projects or plans coming up for your art?
“Currently I’m working on a scroll that is based off of a 20 tiled panting I finished for my college senior thesis. The Scroll is part of a series of large scale works that I’d like to compile into one cohesive collection. I’m also gonna be doing a citywide inspection for walls that should be covered.”
Q. If you could pick any spot in the city to do a mural, where would it be?
“If I could pick any spot in the city to do a mural it would be the whole minneapolis skyline. I don’t know what the subject matter or visual elements would be at the moment but it guarantee it would be fantastic.”
Q. Camel toes, in or out?
Q. Who is your favorite artist of the moment?
“At the moment I’d say Blu, David Choe, Dave Kinsey, and Ian Francis, Shawn Barber.”
Q. What do you love most about being an artist?
“I like the uphill struggle because I’m trying to be a self made man instead of a robotic machine in a cubical.”
Q. Any last words?
“Always keep on improving yourself daily if you can…or you can be like the majority that settles down to easily.”