“My name is Dan Nguyen, but I go by Nuge, which is pronounced like “NOOJ”. That nickname was dubbed by friends who have mispronounced my last name “Nguyen,” but it has grown to be a name of familiarity.
I studied architecture at Roger Williams University in Rhode Island and graduated with my Masters in Architecture. After several years in the field, I found the working experience to be sharply different from the intensive, creative process of my architectural studies. The work required me to be strapped down to a computer, drawing construction documents and rearranging condominium layouts. Whereas in architecture school, I had a license to be as wild and imaginative as possible.
The art that I create today is, in essence, a rebellion to my architectural background. I create organic forms out of wood that are in stark contrast to the hard lines and rigid nature of architecture. My work is about flow, energy, and human connection. It is because of these elements that I have a heavy emphasis for creating everything by hand.
In a world where technology is integrated into every part of our lives feeding us instant gratification, there is a beauty to being able to produce something heartfelt with my hands. This method requires enormous patience but also allows me to revisit my work daily. I massage the surface into place in a way that could not be experienced behind a computer screen. People can feel the energy when my soul is poured into my work.”