One of the most challenging–yet rewarding–parts of putting together each issue of DUM DUM Zine is determining the visual elements. Complementing the written work without strangling the words is just as important as showcasing the individual merit of the artwork itself.

For the first time in our zine history, the art came first. Issue No. 5, our miniature postcard book, called for art that had to be big. We had just the artist in mind: Christine Nguyen’s work captures an ethereal, transient quality composed of impressions of objects found in nature (seafan, dirt, sand, wood bark, shells, dandelion leaves, seaweed, flowers, pods, coral), manipulated and colored with spray paint.

Our fifth issue, “POST & Presemt,” explores the transitory nature of communication—how we grapple with expression in confined spaces—and Christine Nguyen’s bright and ethereal works help us navigate the strange disjointedness of fractured text. It is difficult to discern where her pieces end and begin, which suits our short and, at times, startling postcard revelations.

Below is our studio visit with Christine last summery August at her art quarters in Long Beach.