Hungry Ghosts 2022

oil on canvas, 32 x 48 inches

 
 

Most Recent Paintings

 

Titled Once For A While, my latest series of paintings tell the story of a Vietnamese family’s awkward attempts to integrate into Canadian life.  It explores the idea of whether narrative visual art featuring racial minorities can impact how viewers think about immigration.


The six compositions made their debut in January 2022 at the Chapel Gallery in Victoria BC.

 I acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.

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Media for Once For A While

January 23, 2022, CBC News,

Victoria painter depicts immigrant life for Vietnamese Canadian families in solo exhibit by Winston Szeto

January 23, 2022 Victoria News, Victoria artist’s new exhibit explores Canadian identity through immigrant family’s eyes by Jane Skrypnek

January 17, 2022 CBC Radio All Points West live interview

Hanging the Exhibit, January 2022

Opening Night Presentation for Once For A While, Jan 2022

Selected Works
 
 
 
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About Me

Born in 1982 in a pre-internet world, I did not begin an artistic practice until 2017 when I could finally afford to take art lessons. Attending evening atelier classes with Victoria-based artist Nicole Sleeth, by 2019 I began to pursue an artistic life in earnest. With support from the Canada Council for the Arts I launched my first solo exhibition in January of 2022 at the Chapel Gallery in Victoria BC.

My work gives viewers insight into experiences as a Canadian born to a family of Vietnamese refugees. The main purpose of doing so is to bring Asian faces into the mainstream fine art world in ways that are not exotic, magical, or otherwise orientalized.


I try to emphasize how racialized constructions of identity can become a burden to Canadian-born individuals, like me, who are expected to act as an ethnographer of a foreign country they do not know.

I express this theme on the canvas by painting scenes where I purposefully misinterpret Vietnamese cultural practices or poke fun at cultural stereotypes.
 

My public works reflect the ways in which my imagination is constrained by having only second-hand knowledge of Vietnam from my parents, whose teachings were constrained by their own limited understanding of a homeland they left in order to forget. The burden of having to perform a Vietnamese-Canadian identity, as if the hyphen gives each side of this identity equal weight, is something that must be challenged.
 

Exhibitions, Publications, Awards

2022

Solo Exhibition of Selected Works, Victoria Arts Council @ McPherson PlayHouse (Oct-Dec)

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Finalist, Boynes Emerging Artist Award, 6th Edition

The Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant

Solo Exhibition "Once For A While"

Chapel Gallery, Victoria BC

2021

Royal British Columbia Museum

RBCM@Outside Virtual Fieldtrip Interview December 2021

ArtAscent Art & Literary Journal 47 February 2021

10th Annual All Women Online Art Exhibition, Light Space & Time  Online Art Gallery - Special Recognition for Excellence in Art for 'china town' 12"x24" oil on canvas

2020

Sooke Fine Art Show

2019

AIRE The Annual International Representational Exhibition, Vancouver

Sidney Fine Art Show

Sooke Fine Art Show

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phanchrystal@gmail.com

Victoria BC Canada