Opening February 15th



Maya Nguyen

Sharp Gallery

February 15th – March 6th

Open Hours

Monday – Friday: 11am – 6pm

Saturday: 11am – 3pm

Do good fences make good neighbors? Maya Nguyen’s first solo exhibition, Knotted Lines engages the boundary as both a site of conflict and connection through the material ambiguity of hard and soft. As wool twists into barbed wire and aluminium unfolds into cloth, what feels soft starts to look hard and what feels hard begins to look soft. In the Knotted Lines of wool and metal, tactile and visual perceptions of permeability and impermeability are disentangled, to be re-entangled in ways that at once hold apart and hold together. 

Over the course of the exhibition, Knotted Lines was developed in collaboration with Irene Hsiao and Jonas Sun. Ongoing interventions on the structure were staged in the gallery, provoking the charged process of drawing boundaries through the interaction of fiber, metal, and the body.

From the Exhibition


Gallery Interventions


Installation:  Maya Nguyen

Movement:  Irene Hsiao

Video:  Jonas  Sun



Artist Bios

Maya Nguyen (b. 1996) is a Vietnamese-Russian interdisciplinary artist. Her work engages power relations inherent in human interaction and the environments that facilitate these interactions, such as border zones, the domestic sphere, and the colonial subject. She is currently an MFA candidate in Sound at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Irene Hsiao makes dances with visual art in museums and public spaces, a practice that includes interaction with visual artworks and experimental engagement with artists, institutions, and the public. Her work includes site-specific durational improvisation, theatrical performances, and video studies of art by Emmanuel Pratt, Virginio Ferrari, Philippe Parreno, Tang Chang, Cevdet Erek, and the exhibition The Allure of Matter: Material Art from China at the Smart Museum of Art and Wrightwood 659. She is a 2020 Chicago Dancemakers Forum Lab Artist, 2020-21 CDF Lab Artist in Residence at High Concept Labs, and 2020-21 Artist in Residence at the Smart Museum.

Born and raised in Beijing, China, Jonas Sun is an interdisciplinary artist and filmmaker who explores mundane activities whereby he reveals nuances of personality, especially of those who share multiple shifting and overlapping identities. His works incorporate video, performance, foley design, soundscape composition, bodily installations, and more. Jonas strives to provoke conversations around neglected experiences by inviting the audience to participate in his subjective and sensory exploration of themes such as selfhood, memory, leisure, safety, etc., while prompting awareness of the social influences that shape those values. At the end of the day, Jonas believes that living is an art form and everyone an artist, whose voice deserves to be respected and listened to, starting with themselves.