Thu Nguyen


Honokaa, Hawaii


I was born in Saigon, Vietnam. Being very shy, I spent much of my childhood hiding away upstairs painting, instead of playing with other children. My first brush with success was a Best of Show prize at the 1974 children's exhibition in Saigon sponsored by UNICEF. In 1975 Saigon fell and in the resulting confusion I was separated from my parents. I ended up in a refuge camp near Hong Kong for a year prior to immigrating to the United States as an orphan. After one very snowy and cold winter in Pennsylvania, I went to Los Angeles to stay with some relatives.
During my high school years, I earned extra money doing fashion modeling work in the garment district and upon graduation started on the pre-med program in college. During this time I fell in love with art again and changed my major to art. While in college I had an acting stint in Hollywood on the side (I got a part in Oliver Stone's 'Heaven and Earth' and followed with a lead role in Elizabeth Hong Yang's 'Touch Within' in China).
After getting my art degree, I have since settled down to pursue my art career in Los Angeles, later Seattle and finally Hawaii with the big excitement being adopting my first daughter from China and my second daughter from Vietnam.

Professional qualifications:

BFA in painting, California State University Long Beach .
Two grants from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation
Three grants from the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation.
My work is represented in many public and private collections in the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Mexico.

Current and Upcoming Exhibitions:

Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery (NPG) 2016 portrait competition exhibition (March 12, 2016 through January 8, 2017). It will then travel to five host museums across the country:

Tacoma Art Museum, WA
February 4, 2017 to May 14, 2017
Art Museum of South Texas, Corpus Christi, TX
June 2, 2017 to September 10, 2017
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, MO
October 8, 2017 to January 7, 2018
Artis—Naples, The Baker Museum, Naples, FL
January 31, 2018 to May 6, 2018
Ackland Museum of Art, UNC, Chapel Hill, NC
June 1, 2018 to August 26, 2018


Thu Nguyen's contact :


You can buy my original paintings at :
Thu Nguyen Art Gallery, Kamuela, Hawaii


In Loving Memory Of Bobo by Thu Nguyen


May Morning Arkansas River by Thu Nguyen


Unclad 2007 exhibit by Thu Nguyen


in the studio by Thu Nguyen


Eugene and Evans' Banana Tree by Thu Nguyen


Coming Home by Thu Nguyen


three boats by Thu Nguyen


Seattle Waterfront by Thu Nguyen


Deep in thought by Thu Nguyen


Lone Seagull by Thu Nguyen


My little cheese cake - Wah Zhee Tah by Thu Nguyen


Baby bath mama by Thu Nguyen


full frontal well almost by Thu Nguyen


Blue by Thu Nguyen


The Valentine Dress by Thu Nguyen


Enfamil at Ha Long Bay Vietnam by Thu Nguyen


10 30 A.M. by Thu Nguyen


8 30 A.M. by Thu Nguyen


6 30 A.M. by Thu Nguyen


7 30 A.M. by Thu Nguyen


5 30 a.m. by Thu Nguyen


9 30 am by Thu Nguyen


1 am by Thu Nguyen


Midnight by Thu Nguyen


7 am by Thu Nguyen


2 30 am by Thu Nguyen


3 30 am by Thu Nguyen


4 30 am by Thu Nguyen


1 30 am by Thu Nguyen


6 A.M. by Thu Nguyen


2 am by Thu Nguyen


12 30 A M by Thu Nguyen


9 am by Thu Nguyen


5 A.M. by Thu Nguyen


10 AM by Thu Nguyen


11 am by Thu Nguyen


Forbidden Fruits by Thu Nguyen


Easter Sunday by Thu Nguyen


September Night by Thu Nguyen


November Rose by Thu Nguyen


March Rose by Thu Nguyen


Arkansas Green by Thu Nguyen


February Rose by Thu Nguyen


Beijing in August by Thu Nguyen


Last Fall in Monroe by Thu Nguyen


Red Green and Purple by Thu Nguyen


First in Cabot by Thu Nguyen


Leaving Monroe by Thu Nguyen