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Winnie Truong: Good Hair

Just over a year after graduating from the Ontario College of Art and Design University, Winnie Truong has earned some impressive adds on her CV. These include exhibiting at Mulherin Pollard (Katharine Mulherin’s New York gallery) and the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, as well as receiving the 401 Richmond Career Launcher Prize. In Truong’s current solo show at Erin Stump Projects, she continues to live up to the promise. The show presents a series of portrait drawings that, for Truong, tell the story of faces that “dare to exist at the fringe of beauty, fashion, and biological possibility.” The large-scale pencil-crayon drawings demonstrate a virtuosity with the medium and an understanding of the subtle play of fleeting emotions. Sometimes she adds hair in places and in quantities that would tend to repulse the average observer, but with control of scale, colour and facial expression, the drawings startle and arouse curiosity about the portrait subjects. In The Trouble with Hairy, an otherwise fresh-faced young man sports arcs of dark, coarse hair from his eyebrows to his cheeks. It would be a freak show except for his sombre and fatigued expression. Here, Truong disposes of any notion of the post-human body—her characters are human indeed.

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