Dao Nguyen is a Chicago-based, interdisciplinary artist. Their name is a homophone for the Vietnamese word for knife. She is the compact, red Leatherman multi-tool your aunt gave you for Christmas ten years ago. On sale at Marshall’s. Versatility and hidden strength in a small package at a discount. Stealthy enough to pass through security checkpoints on three continents on four separate occasions. She can cut, screw, file, saw, and open your beer. Bonus applications include carving miniature graphite figurines, picking locks, and sculpting tofu.
She has exhibited and performed in backyards, bathrooms, stairwells, highways, white cubes, and black box spaces, including Sector 2337, Defibrillator, the MCA, Hyde Park Art Center, Sullivan Galleries, Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, Brea Art Gallery, The Foundry Arts Centre, and Irvine Fine Arts Center. She received an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and was Artist-in-Residence at ACRE, Vermont Studio Center, Ragdale, Elsewhere: A Living Museum, and Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts.