Tran Tran / Garden Tubs (Chicago)

 Garden Tubs (2021) by artist Tran Tran

Whether consciously or subconsciously, my parents recreated the setting in which they raised my sister and me in Vietnam twenty three years ago for my nieces in San Jose, California today. In my Garden Tubs photos, vegetation of various kinds decorates the background. An intense contrast lies between the two makeshift tubs, a  heavy ceramics planter versus a light-weight plastic container most likely bought at Target or Home Depot. These two images are separated by about twenty three years. In an attempt to visualize the journey between these scenes, I put the images through an Adobe Illustrator process that breaks them down into fields of colors and blends them in selected steps. The shapes are broken into this turbulent, nearly incomprehensible matrix from one image to another. 

When I think back about how my family immigrated to the United States and how we assimilated into the culture here, I cannot remember much but this overall feeling of loss and confusion. 


I’m not sure how much of it is owed to remembering my parents’ garden in Vietnam, 

but being in nature has always been my way of healing and processing the journey that my family made.


from Garden Tubs, 2021
from Garden Tubs, 2021

BIO: Chicago-based artist Tran Tran (she/they) is a creative practitioner of many modes. She was born in Saigon in 1995, and immigrated with her family to San Jose, California in 2004. Tran completed a BFA in Pictorial Arts at San Jose State University in 2017. Her current artistic practices center on photo manipulation, AI, and ceramics.  Tran’s observation of seemingly mundane objects, her meditation on everyday experiences, and a strong intuition are the navigational tools of her practice.

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