Picture a Free World by Cuong “Mike” Tran
Medium: Acrylic on Black Canvas Paper
Size: 9″ x 12″
Artist bio: Greetings friends! I’m Cuong Mike Tran, a self-taught artist incarcerated in California. I hope my art helps to change the negative perceptions and stigmas associated with incarcerated people. Noone is born a thief or murderer. Don’t ask ‘what’s wrong with you’, but rather, ‘what happened to you?’ How do you reconcile beauty with deviance? Or introspection with violence? Is the work any less glamorous when we see it through the eyes of a “monster”? In a free world, the riot shields block _________, the gas masks filter out _______, and the pepper spray makes people cry tears of ________.
Artist statement: What does a free world look like to me? For starters, people have to give a fuck about others. There is so much conflict and oppression because people can’t/won’t empathize with others. It costs nothing to care, to listen. If we’re going to fight, let’s do it for love and understanding.
Image description (Alt Text) Five people stand at the ready on pavement in full khaki riot gear, shields, batons, helmets and gas masks. The background is tree trunks and shrubs. “LOVE” and Chinese character symbols are visible on one of the helmets.