top of page


The Leavers
Video study for Act One (2024)
4'53" minutes

and First draft of Playscript for Act One (2024, 7 pages)

This video is a mock up of the first few minutes of ACT ONE: AUNT LOC'S ROOM. It is intended to be a sketch looking at visual/conceptual possibilities. Conflating stage set/projection, appropriating news and cinema footage and other reels such as an advert for a Renault Dauphine (the same car, crammed with 14 people, that my father drove to the boat on April 30, 1975). It connects the fragility of democracy (in conflict with communism, here) to the tenuousness of our very humanity. Displaced footage, that doesn't seem so out of place, tethers to the faultiness of memory and historical revision.



Teaser for an unfinished documentary (2014)
2'58" minutes



A trailer made for an unfinished documentary titled DONG. 10 years ago, David Raymond and I embarked to tell the story of when my family left Vietnam. We interviewed the remaining members of my family that left together on the last day of the Vietnam War. For many reasons, the footage we obtained felt incomplete as many secrets remained unlocked. With a shared interest in surrealism, we made this trailer. This footage now provides the base material for the THE LEAVERS and hints how the project will be treated, using surrogates and visual ruptures to explore the fantasies of memory.


BELOW are supplemental work samples. They can be ignored due to time restraints of the reviewers. Various video snippets of previous works, performances, links, and short texts of various projects by Trong Gia Nguyen that are intended to indicate the direction and breadth of the THE LEAVERS project.

Nhà (House). Trong did the scenography for this dance performance choreographed by Sebastien Ly / Kerman (2018), performed in Vietnam and subsequently traveling in France.

Studies for a performance utilizing The Diabolical series of paintings, in situ at Trong's solo exhibition In Perpetuity at La Patinoire Royale, Brussels, Belgium (2022).

Teaser for The Last Letter Writer, a quasi-documentary about a day in the life of the last public translator in Vietnam (2022), which premiered at Black Mountain College in 2023.

Exil (Exile), Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (2017). Theater dance performance by Céline Alexandre and Linh Rateau, based on the novel Ru by Kim Thuy. Trong created the projected animations for this work, which was censored in Vietnam and eventually performed in Hong Kong. 

Ready Set Sail (2007) was a mixed-media performance that took place in Berlin at the Super Bien Greenhouse for Contemporary Art, in collaboration with Dance Gang (Kennis Hawkins and Will Rawls), and musician Jeremy Linzee. Channeling the author Alain de Botton (The Art of Travel) and explorers such as Alexander von Humboldt, Hannibal, and Ulysses, Ready Set Sail incorporated dance, theater and music to investigate the phenomena of locomotion and discovery.

ALL YOU'LL NEED IS LOVE, ISE Foundation and L'Orange Bleu, New York City (2006). A multi-space, real-time speed dating performance inspired by The Dating Game, William Shakespeare, and The Da Vinci Code. A collaboration between Dance Gang (Will Rawls + Kennis Hawkins), Art Hijack (Trong Gia Nguyen + Elana Rubinfeld), and musicians Jeremy Linzee (Summer Lawns) and Fred Thomas (Saturday Looks Good to Me), AYNIL attempted to create a love connection between four local contestant-participants  while employing less direct modes of simultaneous communication, including improvised dance, poetry, and songs composed on the spot. 

bottom of page