Artist explores archetypes of masculinity and femininity at Lycoming College's downtown gallery

Artist explores archetypes of masculinity and femininity at Lycoming College's downtown gallery

Image by Sanh Tran

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Sanh Brian Tran presents his collection of self-portraits, called Bóng Lại Cái, at the Lycoming College Art Gallery, from Jan. 22 to Feb. 19. A reception will be held Jan. 22, from 5 to 9 p.m. with an artist gallery talk at 5:30 p.m. The gallery is located at 25 W. Fourth Street in Williamsport. The events are free and open to the public.

“Bóng lại cái” is a derogatory term for gay men in the Vietnamese language and translates to “feminine shadow” or “shadow of a girl.” In this collection, Tran takes queer identity out of the shadows, creating characters that satirize constructed archetypes of masculinity and femininity.

Sanh Brian Tran was the first person in his immigrant Vietnamese family to join the ranks of the white-collar worker. He broke his first-generation parents’ hearts by quitting his attorney profession in San Francisco to become a self-taught photographer in rural central Pennsylvania. Influenced by his background, he explores themes of identity and class through fashion and taste culture.

“Since relocating to rural, central Pennsylvania from having lived in San Francisco and Los Angeles for most of my life, I am now faced with a new question as a self-identified queer Asian man living in the country,” said Tran. “How do I fit in my rural landscape amongst the white faces, red barns, and camouflage? To answer this question I make photographs that present queer gender performances and expressions in the country but that are largely missing from representations of the country.”
Sanh Brian Tran received his J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of Law. He quit his attorney profession to become a self-taught photographer. Tran moved from San Francisco, California, to a small town in central Pennsylvania, and currently lives and works in Lewisburg, Pa. See more about his work at: www.sanhtran.com.

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