Florian Sông Nguyễn lives and works in Marrakech, MA, and Ho Chi Minh City, VN

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Florian Sông Nguyễn, les chiens errants [The Stray Dogs] (detail), 2022, ink wall drawing, ink on paper, dimensions variable © Florian Sông Nguyễn

Through the meditative aspect of my technique and the contemplative state it requires, I use drawing as a tool to explore the world given to me. The forms that emerge are imbued with questions about identity and a fascination with mysticism and its invisible territories.

When I first came to Morocco, I lived in the Atlas Mountains for four months. There, I began to observe stray dogs and heard many stories about how wild they had become—eating pets, attacking children on their way to school, and so on. Later, in Tangier, I learned that these dogs had become so numerous they were often shot dead by the police. Images of one of these slaughters circulated on the internet; people became indignant and took action. I wondered what it said about us, what they were doing with the bodies after riddling them with metal.

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Florian Sông Nguyễn, les chiens errants [The Stray Dogs] (detail), 2022, ink wall drawing, ink on paper, dimensions variable © Florian Sông Nguyễn

I have continued to observe stray dogs on the beach. Some look for masters, others just a bit of affection. There were these two dogs living outdoors with a man, showing their teeth if someone got too close. They seemed to inhabit a different world, while participating in that of humans. Worlds within worlds, people and animals negotiating them together. I project my thoughts onto these dogs; I raise them in the forest of my symbols. Some borders are porous, and at night when they come out in packs to forage through the garbage, their barking enters my sleep. They alter my dreams, so that I find myself wandering with them, as a dog, snapping at the air under the black sky.

Florian Sông Nguyễn

Exhibitions

Tuer nos Monstres, 2020, Metaxu, Toulon (FR) (solo)

INSEXT you know insects too need love, 2019, Zigzagger, Ho Chi Minh City (VN) (solo)

Low Res – Matérialisations primitives, 2019, Rue de Tanger, Casablanca (MA)

Brightness, 2018, SPRMRKT at STPI, Singapore (SG) (solo)

The Gesture of Memories, 2017, L’Institut français de Hanoi, Hanoi (VN) (solo)