Street Hero

Hello, I’m Yen Tran and I am a UC San Diego freshman from Vietnam. I have always had a knack for art, whether that’s digital or visual creation. I’ve lived in Vietnam my entire life and I get inspiration for my art from my friends, my family and the society around me. I’ve always been intrigued by the roles that women play in the society. In different cultures, the roles of a woman are perceived differently, both positively and negatively. The pressure placed on women by society is a factor that shapes them; either making them stronger or making them follow a certain beauty “ideal”. How do they transform, by challenging social norms or falling to expectations placed on them? The incredible strength and beauty of women has inspired me to create my exhibition, using painting, sculpture, photography, collage and digital media. Through art, I have been given the opportunity to explore how women are presented in every aspect of life —as a family member, as a movie star, as a stranger, or as a friend. Below are four art pieces of mine! Please enjoy!

‘Street Hero’
Digital Painting, (60.5 by 36cm)

I was intrigued by the fact that most female characters on comic book covers are overly sexualized and creates ridiculous expectations for readers based on their appearance. I wanted to show heroines under a different light by showcasing unrecognized individuals within the society and display their heroic traits. I used Taylor’s comic book influence and recreate a comic book cover with female Vietnamese street sellers. The idea behind this is to criticize how we often neglect certain individuals within society and the things that they do for us. More importantly, this piece also serves to empower those individuals.

‘Double-edged knife’
Digital Collage, (119 by 184cm)

This piece represents the lack of identity-based on how people present themselves on social media. I decided to use a series of glitched photos to highlight the idea of having the freedom to construct a new identity. The power that social media gives us allows us to have the power to present how we want to show our best self to the world. The point is, technology is a double-edged sword. It can give you a certain power but it can also take certain things away from us such as our attention and time.

‘Don’t let me drown’
Digital painting, 89 x 40cm (Printed on wood)

Inspired by an article about Human Behaviour and interactions with technology, I wanted to explore the idea of distractions created by technology. Most people aren’t using social media to be social. Instead, they consume random pieces of content. They often find themselves in a negative mood after scrolling through Facebook. I wanted to illustrate how powerful social media can be and how we are slowly ‘drowning’ with random pieces of news. This piece is a reflection of our relationship with social media.

‘Self discovery’
Adobe Photoshop, (60.5 by 36cm)

I have never thought of myself as a figure of admiration so it took me a while to convince myself in order to finish this piece.  With this piece, I depicted myself as a strong character on a comic book cover inspired by Des Taylor’s illustrative techniques. Through the use of simple colors and shape, I want to highlight the comic-like features and capture the audience’s attention. This piece not only empowers me but also shows the audience that we’re always on a journey to figure out what we want to do in life.  

For more, check out my site:

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Hello! My name is Tyler Newman and I'm a magical creature.

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