Wk 4 – Artist Conversation – May Ta

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Artist: May Ta
Exhibition: “The Windows” from Closer
Media: Ink jet printer, digital media
Gallery: Dennis W. Dutzi Gallery
Website: N/A
Instagram: @maypta

May Ta, along with her friend and fellow artist, Carly Lake, did an exhibition called Closer displayed at the Dennis W. Dutzi Gallery. Although I got to interview both artists, my favorite artwork was done by May Ta. May Ta is currently an undergraduate student at California State University, Long Beach and is graduating this semester with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration. She migrated from Vietnam four years ago to complete her studies in the United States. Ta enjoys hobbies like video and graphic designing and symmetrical graphing. She is also looking forward to attending graduate school and her options are between going to UC Berkeley or staying at Long Beach State for a few more years. After earning her degree, May Ta plans on supporting other young artists in the same field work as her by building a place where they can showcase their artwork.

The artwork that I am referring to is titled “The Windows.” This piece of art was done with an ink jet printer and digital media. As shown in the picture above, May Ta has 6 frames aligned as two columns with two rows. In the first painting, one can see what seems to be a woman and another person kissing. In the second frame, there is a figure hiding behind a curtain, only showing their hands. In the third frame, there is a boy with a melancholic expression, being held by what seems to be two different hands. In the fourth frame, there is only an empty room, with shadows and a smaller frame on the wall. In the fifth frame, there is a light shadow of a woman sitting down, most likely having a conversation with someone else. The woman is slightly slouching and seems to be holding hands with the other person; they appear to be very close. In the final frame, there is a plant in a vase and a hand set on top of the table. On the far left of the frame, there is another shadow. In all the frames there are shadows, almost as if these are windows being hit by sunlight. All of these frames had a darker, dull hues, rather than vibrant and light hues.

May Ta explains that this piece of artwork should depict intimacy, privacy and solitude. She explains that being alone can feel like absolute isolation and emptiness and intimacy with another person can be an obstacle or a way to find yourself. She also discussed there persistent universal desire of human beings of wanting to be intimate with one another, but also acknowledged that everyone can also feel alone and empty. Ta explains that as you look at the frames, you are looking into another person’s life. May Ta and Carly Lake, as written on the paper posted near the entrance, explain that the show’s setting “is intended to embody the living quarters of a stranger, allowing the guest to seemingly enter the private space of another person.”

Although I found every artwork in the gallery to be fascinating, I was more amazed by this piece. I found it to be peculiar, as there was no explanation behind why those scenes were being depicted behind the frames. However, there was no need to know the reason behind why those scenes were chosen by the artists; it makes it all more intriguing for the viewer to figure out. May Ta and Carly Lake did an amazing job with their artworks and I wish them the best in their future showcases.

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