Artist: May Ta
Exhibition: Closer, Estranger
Media: Mixed media, acrylic paint, ink
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Dennis W Dutzi Gallery
Website: May’s website will be coming soon.
About the Artist
May Ta is currently a student at the California State University of Long Beach. She transferred from Cal State Fullerton because of Long Beach’s strong art program. She is currently in the School of Art’s Illustration program, and hopes to get her Bachelor of Fine Arts. May is originally from Vietnam and is an international student. She moved over here a couple of years ago and currently resides in Anaheim. As a kid, May was not really exposed to art. She was surrounded by many scientists in her family when she was younger. Originally, she had wanted to be an engineer. After giving it some thought, however, she realized that she wanted to pursue a degree within the Fine Arts. This was much to the dismay of her family, who did not support her decision. Despite this, her family eventually came around and realized that pursuing a career in art was very important to her. In the future she hopes to make a difference in the world, but she wonders how she can do that.
After walking into the gallery, you can see that the room is filled with paintings, pictures, and other pieces of art. It is not just one piece of work, but many put together for everyone to see. May did not actually create all of the art by herself, but partnered up with her friend Carly Lake. One piece that caught my eye was titled Estranger. It is a painting by May that she did during the summer of 2016. She used acrylic paint and ink to create a picture of a man who appears to be standing in the middle of a giant lake. In the horizon, it looks like there is a body of land or possibly even a sunset, with clouds dominating the upper part of the painting. The picture itself looks like a water color painting. She used mainly cool colors in her painting, as most of it is just light blue. There are other colors as well, such as white, brown, and grey. The other colors are a very small part of the painting, but still add a lot of detail and depth. The painting itself seems very simple, but it conveys a feeling of calmness and serenity.
With May’s painting and the rest of the gallery, she is trying to convey the feelings of intimacy and loneliness. With the help of her friend Carly Lake, she tries to show how the two are intertwined in a way. They believe that intimacy with another person can hinder the ability of truly finding yourself. It is because of this that May and Carly try to investigate how emotional intimacy needs to be balanced between others and yourself. By putting together this exhibition, May and Carly try to create a room of intimate solitude, intertwining the two ideas. May’s painting, Estranger, is the first piece of work that you see when you enter the gallery. May’s intent was for the piece to kind of start our journey as we make our way through all the other pieces of art. By starting our journey with Estranger, we can see a man who is by himself in the lake. The man presumably is alone and in a place of complete solitude. However, others can view it as a way of enlightenment, as if the man is finding himself with no distractions. It is a great painting to start off the gallery and it really can get people thinking about their overall theme of intimacy and loneliness.
Hearing about May’s story of how she came to pursue a career in art was very interesting. Being Vietnamese myself, I feel that my parents want me to pursue typical careers such as becoming a doctor, or a lawyer. Hearing about how May’s parents eventually began to support her career choice was very inspiring. I believe that other kids, of all races, can be like May, and not pursue careers just because their parents want them to. May’s artwork is also very inspiring in itself. All of her pieces were very well put together and were just very attractive to the eye. Estranger was one of her best pieces in my opinion. She was able to paint something so simple, yet so beautiful and full of meaning at the same time. The thing I like most about her is that she does not tell you the meaning behind her artworks. She simply leaves it up to the individual to think and come up with their own interpretation of her works.
A picture of May Ta, myself, and her painting Estranger.