Thomas Dang

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Press Release/Statement

LAUNCH LA is proud to present Bombs Away by recent graduate Thomas Dang.

In his exhibition, Dang melds impending horrid death and the beauty of the meticulously crafted object. Unseen skies rain down an arsenal of bomb pods. Their cargo: pathogenic organisms caught between B-movie horrors and swollen versions of the microbes which inhabit our bodies. The bombs possess an evolutionary diversity of cartoonish color and texture; almost harmlessly surreal and yet tinged by the baleful specter biological warfare. Without telling anyone what to think, Bombs Away brings violence and war to the home-front. Confrontation is not optional.

Thomas Dang’s career ranges from warrior to artist and scientist. In his service with the Marine Corps he attained the rank of Infantry Platoon Commander, charged with overseeing 40 troops. He earned a Bachelors of Arts in Biology and a Masters of Arts in ceramics at CSU Northridge. He is currently undertaking a Masters in Science in Microbiology. Dang’s work has been exhibited in CSU Northridge affiliated shows and has been presented in the Graduate Forum at the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Art. This is his first show with LAUNCH LA.

ARTIST STATEMENT

An influential part of my life has been my journey through the Marine Corps. Having done two combat tours in Iraq, I have been confronted with many hostile engagements. Part of the Iraq war was having the possibility of encountering biological and chemical agents. There were many training exercises with Mission Oriented Protective Posture (MOPP) suits and gas masks to prepare us where these confrontations were imminent. Having studying these pathogenic organisms, they have become a direct insight to my current work drawing a connection with my military experience and my studies in microbiology. Though my work may elicit many different perspectives, my goal is not intended to extend any political viewpoint on the war but to engage my experiences of combat and the potential threat of future quarrels in the World that could lead to such formidable hostility.

The bombs created are forms to symbolize the events of warfare with ceramic sculptures to articulate the lively characteristics of what would portray biological and chemical weapons. From studying these pathogenic organisms, I have grown a large respect and interest in their abilities to cause major catastrophic events. With these sculptures, I intend to develop biological missiles that emulate the intensive and hostile gesture which embodies my experiences in combat.

– Thomas Dang

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