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Water Sun Fire

Christine Nguyen
Artwork Type
Media & Support
Fire Station 132
29310 Sand Canyon Road
Santa Clarita, CA
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Latitude: -118.417613 - Longitude: 34.439305
Image: Water Sun Fire

Additional Images

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Water Sun Fire is a series of 25 cyanotype (sun print) artworks that features recognizable and abstracted objects that are familiar to firefighters. With the help of firefighters from Battalion 6 Headquarters at Fire Station 126 in Santa Clarita, artist Christine Nguyen collected an assortment of materials from both inside and outside the station, ranging from equipment to vegetation around the station. Firefighters also contributed a series of knots from their daily work, which included the Slip Knot, Overhand Knot, Overhand Follow Through (water knot), Bowline, Figure 8, Figure 8 Bend and Figure 8 Follow Through.

To achieve the effects, Nguyen and the firefighters first placed an assortment of objects on light sensitive cyanotype paper (sun prints). After just a few minutes in the sun, any part of the paper left uncovered changed colors from a light green to a light blue. Then using a fire hose, each print was washed in cold water, which helped to deepen the blue of the uncovered portion and whiten the covered portion, creating a variety of abstract and recognizable negatives. The resulting images were digitized and the artist used Photoshop to enhance and change the colors.

About the Artist

As a native Californian, Christine Nguyen has always had an affinity for the ocean, nature and wildlife. Growing up with her father, who was a fisherman, she was able to develop a natural curiosity for science. She writes, My work draws upon the imagery of science, but it is not limited to the technologies of the present. I imagine that the depths of the ocean reach into outer space, that through an organic prism, vision can fluctuate between the micro- and macroscopic. Nguyen received her B.F.A from Cal State Long Beach and M.F.A from the University of California-Irvine. Her exhibitions include solo shows at the UCLA Hammer Museum in Westwood, Bergamot Station in Santa Monica, galleries in Long Beach, San Pedro, New York, San Francisco, Germany, and Hong Kong. Nguyen currently works as a photographer for the J. Paul Getty museum while developing her public art practice.