San Francisco

Toi Hoang

San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery

Toi Hoang was born near Saigon in 1962 and fled Vietnam at age 13, just as the city fell and the last of the U.S. troops evacuated. Hoang set out in a small boat on the South China sea with his mother and brother (his father and sister had died in the war) and eventually reached the Philippines, where they were shuffled from one refugee camp to another. They finally settled in San Jose, California, and, some years later, Hoang began the “Stretcher” series, a remarkable group of sculptural paintings that manages to evoke the gruesome aftermath of a collapsed tunnel system and the psychic aftermath of war, without reducing either to a literal “subject.”

Each piece in the series begins as a wooden frame leaning upright against the wall with canvas stretched over it to suggest a stretcher of the sort used to transport the wounded. In the earlier pieces, the canvas is cut, torn, scored, sewn,

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