Acrylic false fingernails, French Pink color nail polish, styrofoam, gobs of glue
42 in x 32 in x 13 in
A larger-than-life bust of Ho Chi Minh layered in acrylic fingernails. This is my interpretation of the busts of the late Vietnamese leader that are seen in public life in Vietnam.
I was making my BLAXIDERMY work concerning beauty, industry, and the movement of bodies when I first visited Vietnam, and I was thinking about my limited relationship to Vietnamese people in the US at the time, and the iconic cult of personality around Ho Chi Minh and his legacy in Vietnam. Around that time, Philip Martin's WGBH exposé on human trafficking in nail salons came out.
After living with the bust of Uncle Ho for a while, I decided to scale it up 10x and recreate it in acrylic fingernails, mostly of which had been sourced in Ho Chi Minh City.