Interview: Chuyen Huynh

EDP: When and why did you begin working in the installation format?

CH: I started installations in college because I was interested in shadows and automatic tracing. After college, I continued to expand my practice into life size, site-specific installations with cardboard and tape.  

It is a very meditative process.  I never know what will come out of it. And I can never make the same work twice. All my works are intuitive.

Also, the use of basic, low-cost materials allows me to freely create.

EDP: What philosophy’s influenced your work?

CH: My childhood was spent with my grandfather, a Buddhist monk. This influenced my interest in timelessness and the ephemeral; the idea that nobody can truly own something.

My installations are a learning process that can't be owned. It takes time to create but only two hours to take apart. Taking it apart quickly and throwing it away gives me power, just like the process of making a Tibetan Sand Drawing: the way that it takes so long to make and then is gone in an instant. The process is important and not the end product.

EDP: Can you discuss some works and the ideas behind them?

CH: As I work, I aim for sense of spontaneity and fun. I always had vivid dreams and these have informed my work either directly or indirectly. This can be seen most recently in my works on paper.

Space influences my decisions. I'm merely a transcriber following direction, wherever the environment and materials lead me. 

EDP: What's next?

CH: I'm on a trip to learn healing and self awareness. This will further inform my creative process.  

Chuyen Huynh is a Vietnamese-American artist who is currently living and working in Brooklyn, NY.  See more on her work at