My Twin Aunts
Tammy Nguyen My Twin Aunts Color lithograph and silkscreen on paper, hand bound book
My Twin Aunts
2013
Color lithograph and silkscreen on paper, hand bound book
9.25’’ x 15.75’’
Tammy Nguyen My Twin Aunts
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My Twin Aunts
by Tammy Nguyen
Tammy Nguyen My Twin Aunts
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I have identical twin aunts and they are extremely mean.
Tammy Nguyen My Twin Aunts
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I lived with them once, in Vietnam. One time, I saw one of my aunts fling a knife at the maid. Another time, I saw the other one shoo a salesman out of the house with a broom. They made me come home by ten, and I had to be on my best behavior, or they’d tell my mother.
Tammy Nguyen My Twin Aunts
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Vietnamese people are born censored by their elders. You can’t argue; you can’t disagree; you can’t say anything. In the case of my aunts, the one who was two minutes older was the boss. I was obviously never the boss, but I had my imagination.
Tammy Nguyen My Twin Aunts
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My aunts were America-worshipers. They loved American things, from their cars to their lipstick. When they upset me, I would imagine them as conjoined hawks.
Tammy Nguyen My Twin Aunts
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If they loved America so much, then being conjoined twins would be a perfect democracy. They would have to negotiate everything, otherwise they would have heart failure, bone failure, liver failure, brain failure, whatever failure, as they would have to share an organ to survive.
Tammy Nguyen My Twin Aunts
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However, if they wanted to really get the American thing, they would have to adopt some form of individual pursuit, causing them to fly in different directions and breaking their physical bond.
Tammy Nguyen My Twin Aunts
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Funny thing is that soon after the Americans went to Vietnam and released Agent Orange there was a surge in conjoined twins— siblings with a biological democracy.
Tammy Nguyen My Twin Aunts
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Children are sometimes worshipped in Vietnam because of their innocence. Some Vietnamese people regard conjoined twins as extra holy. They don’t live long and often remain children.
Tammy Nguyen My Twin Aunts
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