On days when he is not working as a poet and teacher,Truong Tran tries to wake up early. He empties his oversized messenger bag of books and papers and the previous day's half-eaten lunch. He places the strap over his left shoulder, with the bag firmly secured to his back. He begins to walk. He walks for as long as it takes to fill the bag with stuff: branches, findings from the local thrift stores, choice items left in boxes on sidewalks and, if he's lucky, something he's never seen before. Once the bag is filled, Truong returns home, empties the contents from the bag, creating mounds of what some might consider piles of junk. He see them as source materials and the beginnings to his art making process.
Troung is committed to using these recycled materials as an environmentally conscious artist but also as an artist who strives to make art accessible through both its practice and use of materials. Quite frankly, he get a kick out of forcing these disparate objects to come together, compromising and accommodating one another in their process of becoming something new, something beautiful.
He refer to what he does as art making because he does not paint, draw or sculpt in a traditional or learned consideration of artistic craft. His craft is founded in the doing. He glues things together. He makes things fit. He dips things in wax. He cuts. He builds. He weaves. He thinks. He fills things up with paint using ketchup bottles. He stares at things in hopes that these things will talk back. This is what he does. It makes him happy. It allows him to lose himself in the process of doing. It makes him sad. It allows him to find himself in the process of seeing.
Truong insists on it being called art at the end of the day.