Hương Ngô (Huong Ngo, Ngô Ngọc Hương, 吳玉香) is an artist born in Hong Kong, often working between France and Vietnam, and currently based in Chicago where she is an Assistant Professor in Contemporary Practices at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Having grown up as a refugee in the American South, she engages histories of colonialism and migration, particularly in relationship to language, structures of power, and ideologies. The body and, alternately, its absence and its traces are strongly present in her work, which often asks how we might make visible the process of our own subject formation. Beginning her studies as a biology major, she received her BFA at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2001) and continued in Art & Technology Studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (MFA, 2004).
Her research and archive-based practice began while a studio fellow at the Whitney Independent Study Program in 2012. She was recently awarded the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Grant in Vietnam (2016) to realize a project, begun at the Archives Nationales d’Outre-Mer in France, recently exhibited at DePaul Art Museum (2017), and continued through the Camargo Core Program (2018), that examines the colonial history of surveillance in Vietnam and the anti-colonial strategies of resistance vis-à-vis the activities of female organizers and liaisons. Her work, described as “deftly and defiantly decolonial” by New City and “what intersectional feminist art looks like” by the Chicago Tribune, has exhibited at the MoMA, MCA Chicago, Nhà Sàn Collective, and Para Site and supported by Chicago Artists Coalition, DCASE, and Sàn Art, among others.
Both archeological and futuristic, her work operates in layers, continuously making and unmaking an unruly archive.