Originally from Vietnam, Mai Tran is a Minnesota-based printmaker specializing in woodcut printmaking. Through printmaking practices, Mai illustrates the connection between different cultures, mythology, history, as well as human and animal interactions. Mai holds a BFA in Printmaking/Photography and a MA in Print Media. Mai has exhibited collections of work and is featured in various newspapers and TV channels in the United States and Vietnam. One of her woodcut prints is currently presented on Minnesota State Highway 22‘s billboard.
In my woodcut prints, I showcase dream-like landscapes, Vietnamese legends and customs blended with American culture to create unique visual narratives.
Elements such as watermelon, Vietnamese café phin, traditional clothing, mythical animals, the Ly dynasty dragon and ceramics, and the Vietnamese Nom script speak to an almost forgotten culture. In contrast, the carno-lotus (cheeseburger) plant, Walleye, Bobcat, and winter scenery reference life in the Midwest. By combining elements from the two cultures, I build parallel worlds where all living things can sustain and value each other’s differences — a place without barriers of geography, race, gender, class, or species that allows us to define our own uniqueness and purpose in life.
My woodcut prints hold true to traditional printmaking practices but deliver new narratives, linking one culture to another.