Gallery One

Lien Truong

The Sky is Not Sacred
April 26 – June 22, 2019

First Fridays, 6 – 10pm 
May 3 + June 7

Artist Talk
May 18, 12pm

View Exhibition Brochure

Exhibition sponsored by Merrill Lynch Re Corr Bell Group

Lien Truong, Afghanistan 2018

Through multi-layered paintings on canvas and silk, and a video collaboration with artist Hng-An Truong, Lien Truong’s exhibition, The Sky is Not Sacred explores themes of colonialism, landscape, memory, heritage, and war. This rich body of work investigates the complexities of personal experiences, geo-political history, poetry and visual culture.

In her Translatio Imperii series, naturalistic landscapes in the style of the American Hudson River Valley School of painting, depict bombs dropped on foreign landscapes. Each work depicts and is titled to reflect an actual place bombed by the US since WWII. The images are contained within the form of a singular abstract expressionist brush stroke and surrounded by flat black paint. The series investigates the way that art and war have both been used as tools for cultural and nationalistic dominance. Through the familiar lens of nineteenth-century landscape painting, Truong creates a sublime experience for the viewer.

Truong and her family came to the United States after the fall of Saigon in Vietnam in 1975. Through that experience, Truong examines the effects of war and imperialist history on notions of heritage, nostalgia, and home. Laser cut lines of poetry in both English and Vietnamese, overlay two red oval landscapes, one depicting Vietnamese mountains and the other a recreation of an iconic Albert Bierstadt painting of the American west. For Truong “the works look at the personal connections of landscape, poetry and the resonating geographic location one calls home.”

By examining the ways that art, landscape, and war have been used to assert cultural and national hierarchies, Truong successfully subverts linear assertions and provides a highly complex vision of human experience.


Lien Truong, Yemen 2004

Lien Truong’s work has been exhibited in numerous institutions such as the National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC; North Carolina Museum of Art; Weatherspoon Art Museum; Station Museum of Contemporary Art; Cameron Art Museum; The Centre of Contemporary Art in Moscow; Oakland Museum of California; Pennsylvania Academy of Art; Nhasan Collective and Galerie Quynh in Vietnam; Art Hong Kong; and Southern Exposure. She is the recipient of several awards including fellowships from the Institute of Arts and Humanities and the North Carolina Arts Council, and residencies at the Oakland Museum of California and the Marble House Project. She has received reviews and mention in several publications including Art Asia Pacific, The San Francisco Chronicle; Houston Chronicle; Oakland Tribune; New American Paintings and ARTit Japan. Her work is in several public collections including the City of Raleigh; North Carolina Museum of Art; the Weatherspoon Art Museum; Post-Vi Dai Collection, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; and the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Vietnam. Truong was born in Saigon and immigrated to the United States. She received her MFA from Mills College and BA from Humboldt State University, and is currently an Assistant Professor of Art at UNC-Chapel Hill.


Lien Troung, detail of work in progress