Mad dream

Ok. Have you ever got stuck in a never-ending loop? The lucid dream starts merging with your life. You experience many false awakenings? Creepy! Yes, indeed.
Even worse, you harm yourself in the confusion? People think you are mad. The moment you’re wide awake, you realize that it was serious. Both of your hands get tided! The security is standing there. Watching you.
You fell asleep again. Wake up in anxiety and fatigue. You are in a different room now. Still, there is a person watching you. A chubby middle-aged woman with short haircut this time. Someone gives you another shot in your hand. How many already? You totally have no idea but it’s quite a lot, you believe. The psychologist comes, asks you a very obvious question whether you wanted to harm yourself or anyone with the knife last night. “NO!”, you reply roughly without a second thought. The psychologist seems to be a nice woman with her emotional facial expression, a feature that a white woman barely has. She apologizes for asking such a silly question. You can read the worry in her eyes. Then, she writes down something in her folder and walked away. Well, you are exhausted physically and mentally, however, you are not able to afford to stay anymore, even a minute, in the hospital without health insurance. You should demonstrate that your mind still belongs to you and get the fuck out of this room. Good job! The psychologist lets you out! Damn it, one night in here and you have to be in debt in 2 years. Fuckin’ expensive!
Now, you are safe and sound at home. Take 3 flights, crossed the Atlantic Ocean and whole Europe to head back to Saigon. You get over the jet lag and little sickness due to the sudden weather and environmental change. You can even ride the bike in the damn crowded city with 9 million people after a week. Your nerves are still very strong.
Otherwise, deep inside, you are anxious and confused, what the fuck happened to me. Am I insane? What the fuck were those mad memories? Overlapping dreams and reality!
Now, you have a deep concern about your mental health. Again! You are serious about dreams and their psychological effects.

Drops of loneliness

I got my first tattoo, an upside-down triangle one in sanguine when I tried to run away from my aunt on the trip to Cambodia. I was 17 years old at that time. It was my first trip abroad, such a quite exciting experience to me even Phnom Penh was just 6 hours by bus from Saigon where I came from. The triangle was fascinating to me. The solid shape. The leader. The hierarchy of needs is also presented by this gorgeous shape, however, the core point and the most essential part of human life is led by a tiny part on the top of the triangle: the mission or the passion. Then, an upside-down triangle would be the best form of eternal inspiration.

Peinture rouge pour un jour de neige
The geometric shape gets influenced by my lifestyle and my artwork then. Naturally just like breathing. I consider my body is just a flesh and a fresh canvas and I get more tattoos in geometric language day by day. I enjoy getting inked. The slight and very thin moment I feel terrified when the machine starts vibrating. Creepy sound like a saw. It reminded me of the scary day I had to meet the dentist when I was little. But on the polar side, I feel extremely satisfied! Just like sex. It hurts but it fulfills my desire. The wound exists to make the trace of a skinny piece of memory last on my skin forever. As a far far far away moment, far enough to get almost faded. Suddenly, it becomes fresh and vivid. Between the sheets, I embrace myself with the hurts.
Human warmth.
It’s been so long. I need a hug, need to be embraced. Love and being loved. Why it is this tough for me?
Funny. I turned 21 already in Vietnam. The time zone you know. Never expect to celebrate my birthday in Canada. Funny. I have to wake up early tomorrow to come to the church, the house of God, for the Sunday chapel. Ask Jesus to bless me. Funny, such an atheist like me. But who the heck I could rely on spiritually and emotionally for the very now? No family. No friend to have a real conversation. No love for sure. Only music and drawing can calm my soul. Solitude has many faces and this time, I felt lost and blue among the people.
Am I fuckin’ young to suffer from all those things? Too fuckin’ young!
What a day. What a day….









In 1998, AIB merged with Lesley College

18 Illustration by Thomas Kerr, AIB faculty member, to comemorate the merger between the Art Institute of Boston and Lesley College in 1998

Illustration by Thomas Kerr to comemorate the merger 



The Art Institute of Boston was founded by Roy Davidson in 1912
as the School of Practical Art.

AIB’s early philosophy was based on Davidson’s
own belief that “beauty comes from the use.”
The school opened in Davison’s own studio,
3 small rooms in Boston’s Back Bay.


Calender  of the School of Practical Art (1931)

6 Page 23 of the 1931 Academic Catalog of the School of Practical Art.jpg

The School of Practical Art  was one of the first private, nonaffiliated studio schools in the United States



12 AIB, Contact Sheet, 1984, 1
7 Open House, Art Institute of Boston, 1968.png


 In Autumn 2013, the University officially changed the name of the Art Institute of Boston to the Lesley University College of Art and Design (LUCAD).



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AIB background drawing

School of Practical Art Portraiture Class, circa 1945

Co-ed classroom full of students during a portraiture class at the School of Practical Art. All students, who are dressed very formally, are drawing on canvases. The portrait is of a woman with a flower in her hair.




AIB painting circle.png

You see that all drawings consisted in the very same style: Memetic.








But here are my works from Figure Drawing class. We have naked model and the class is very liberal. I have own freedom in my hand.









11 Lunder © Robert Benson.jpg
Painting class at Lunder Art Center, Lesley University College of Arts & Design – Credit: Robert Benson


Art Barn, May 1958
May, 1958 Photograph Photograph of 16 Lesley College students in art class painting


However, I love seeing the student life at that time. They had so much fun together.







Art school is the very first project that I put so much attempt to look for material and reference on the web. It is based on the archive of my college. I have a deeper view of my art school, Lesley University College of Art and Design (LUCAD). Otherwise, the purpose of this research still comes from my personal concern, should I be patient with my choice of going to an art school. Art career is very challenging and only the minority of my Asian community choose this direction. A semester at LUCAD takes a fortune that a country Vietnamese working hard to earn and Boston is an expensive city so  I have very high expectation for my education: to get connected with art community and learn how to survive as a visual artist. However, I feel discouraged sometimes and I just do not believe in the comfort of college life. 



Tattoo Obsession


            Tattoo Obsession (2016) – Collage

The image shifts to various meanings with a different context. Also, the message from image reading is exquisitely diverse from every single reader. I find this process amazing and essential for my communication since I would love to be a visual artist in the very near future. The collage Tattoo Obsession conveys many orientations of my tattoos when I flip and rotate them or read them from different culture background, which demonstrates the large range of ways to see things.