Maybe it’s just my love for neon colors that drew me to Christine Nguyen’s wall mural, What the Oceans Left Behind (pictured above, and part of her Powers of the Cosmic Dusty Seas exhibit). But there is something even more captivating about her work – something which operates in that strange territory where art and science intersect.
This isn’t well-known territory. Usually we feel an almost-formulaic opposition between natural science and the arts. Many scientists see at art as frivolous or contrived, while artists frequently perceive science as cold and impenetrable. And how often have you encountered someone who thought of their “opposing” discipline as esoteric? Well science buffs, artsy farts, or SeaMonster reader who identifies as neither, here’s somethin’ that might appeal to any of you.
I find it hard to put my finger on why I think this type of art is valuable. There are plenty of beautifully rendered naturalist illustrations, for example, which I find far less compelling than Nguyen’s. But unlike artwork done purely to illustrate science, her work explores the universe in a way that science fiction authors of the 1950s and 60s might have. Science inspires her dreamscapes and her methodology. In any case, the fine arts and the sciences can be united as uniquely human endeavors, and in Nguyen’s case, the results sure are pretty.