Nguyen was born and raised in San Francisco, California. She received her BFA from the Cooper Union School of Art and her MFA from the Yale School of Art. In 2007 she received a Fulbright Fellowship to study lacquer painting in Vietnam. A 10-month exploration became a 4-year long residency where she worked on several projects with San-art and the local art communities.
Tammy Nguyen aims to confront human contradictions and challenge traditions through image making and material seduction. Her paintings, artists’ books, and works on paper often draw from natural sciences as a way to deal more intimately with human conditions through the representation of non-human forms. The artworks become new myths that can also reference the flora and fauna depicted in folkloric imagery.
Nguyen now resides in the Bronx, New York and works in Westport, Connecticut. She teaches at the Pierrepont School as the 2014 Van Lier Fellow at Wave Hill. She will also be participating in the Bronx Museum AIM Biennial in 2015.