Thao-Nguyen Phan has pushed the boundaries of contemporary art in Vietnam where she has shunned traditional cultural references to create provocative artworks that depict historical and contemporary concepts through a combination of painting, video, performance and installation. An honours graduate from Singapore’s Lasalle College of the Arts in 2009, four years later Thao-Nguyen received an MFA in Painting and Drawing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). Today, in addition to her work as a multimedia artist, she has joined forces with artist Truong Cong Tung and curator Arlette Quynh-Anh Tran to form Art Labor. This collective explores cross-disciplinary practices and develops art projects that will benefit the local community. Thao-Nguyen anticipates expanding her “theatrical fields”, including what she calls performance gesture and moving images, under the guidance of pioneering visual artist Joan Jonas whom she considers the “ideal mentor”. With a grant from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark in Vietnam, Thao-Nguyen, who has exhibited widely in Southeast Asia, will hold her first solo show in 2017.