An Tran

"Readaptation" - The painting is my take on claustrophobia as a by-product of the unprecedented pandemic. Behind the wall, inside the box, is my self-portrait - which has taken on the form of a moldy, decomposing fruit. The sight of mold on my cheek creates mounting feelings of unease, unproductivity, and worthlessness. My gaze towards the sky represents a yearning for space outside the four walls of my home, and a mental sense of ‘drifting away’ due to the fear of ‘self-destruction’ in quarantine. However, even after the restrictions of lockdown were lifted, additional barriers arose outside of quarantine - bigger, and more overwhelming. They are the walls created by an exclusionary society, our responsibilities, the limitations of our personal growth, and our mental states. Sometimes, we even desire to come back to the comfort of confinement to relieve the burdens we carry, in order to find inner peace before moving on.
"The Body Misfit" - There has long been a comparison between women’s body shapes to those of fruits, like an hourglass, pear or apple shaped figure. Yet, despite all the social conceptions, I don’t find myself fitting into any of these categories. I have always wondered: Are my proportions equal enough to be considered “hourglass”? Is my upper body small enough to be considered “pear-shaped”? At one point, after a period of forcing myself to fit into mainstream beauty standards, I decided to stop defining a name for my figure. I rejected the notion that an hourglass shape should be my desirable goal, and I came to an acceptance that each body is unique in its own. Magazines tend to objectify women’s shapes and pressure women into complying with procedures to correct their ‘weaknesses’. This piece serves to defy the idea that beauty is arbitrary, and symbolizes that anyone can be any shape, with any name they choose.  
"Banana Roll Love" - My mother once told me that she felt insecure about subcutaneous fat, known as banana roll fat, and cellulite under her bottom part. Ever since maternity and the burning pain she went through during pregnancy, these changes to her body served to remind her of me. Through this piece and the title “Banana Roll Love”, I want to portray how I see perfection in her imperfections. This piece reveals my gratitude towards my mother’s sacrifices for the best of my wellbeing. Within her bottom part is a representation of the sea, where turbulent waves can be seen. The seeming movement of water not only represents the unsettling nature of the economic struggle my mother and I have faced, but also signifies hopes for a new existence, faith, changing moods, and endless maternal love, just like the boundlessness of the sea. An H Tran

About the Artist: My name is An Tran. I am a 18 year old girl from Vietnam with a huge interest in the arts and women’s rights.