Define Your Own Success – Paint Your Own Opportunity [Part 1/5]

July 29, 2019


What does success really mean to you? To some, it means feeling personally fulfilled, while to others it could mean having the dream relationship and family. Or it could even be something more tangible; influence, or status, or money. Maybe it’s something different altogether? It very much depends on who you are. 


“Success Through the Lens of Art” is a project initiated by Dreamplex Coworking Space and led by curator Kim Anh Doan of T-pot Journal and Away Studio. Five young Vietnamese artists were asked to illustrate what success means to them and despite living across borders, they all took to paper, canvas, and the digital screen to create artwork that embodied their ideas about success.


Nhung Lê – “Paint Your Own Opportunity.”


The first artist on the list is Nhung Lê. She believes success shouldn’t be defined by others, but from within. “For me, success comes from the inside, not the outside. Success is measured by how happy and grateful we are in our lives. Instead of looking up to other people, I believe it’s better if we take a deep look at ourselves to find success,” she says. This perspective came from her own experience: “When I set goals for my own life and step by step tried to achieve them, only then I felt like I created true success.”


After moving to New York and living among lots of talented individuals, Nhung Lê realized that the key to success is to stop comparing yourself to others as there will always be someone who is better, richer, or luckier out there. “And even if you have a lot of money and achievements, it doesn’t mean you will get peace in your mind. When you try your best, live happily and treat other people well, success will definitely come to you,” she adds. 


When asked about the way she expressed her vision of success through artwork, she explained that the image is of a girl looking at herself in the mirror while another girl behind the mirror draws a twinkle star for her to hold. What this means is that you’re the person that creates your own chances. 


Illustrator Nhung Lê was born in Hanoi, but is now based in Brooklyn, New York. While in Vietnam, she studied Literature and dreamt of becoming a writer. After moving to the States, she found it difficult to continue studying Literature in English, and while taking a basic art class on the side, she found that art and design was exactly what she wanted to pursue. 


After graduating in 2012, she found a job as a graphic designer and learned to watercolor on her own during her free time. She started selling her own prints online and in 2015, she was able to quit her job and open her own stationary brand, Chic + Nawdie. In 2016, she worked with Art Director Kim Anh Doan for T-pot Journal vol.4 as a freelance illustrator. Her clients now include The New Yorker, Two Sigma, Eater, DAME Products, Christine Alcalay, Dreamplex, Bleubird Clothing, TPot Journal.


Four more stories to tell…


Stay tuned for the four following pieces in our Success Through the Lens of Art exhibition by Hương Anh Trịnh, Toma Nguyen, Vũ Tuấn Anh, and Việt Huỳnh. Each artist put their own interpretive twist to the word “success” and came up with beautiful pieces of art that are now proudly displayed within the walls our Dreamplex Tran Quang Khai location. 


Dreamplex: A Space for Success


Dreamplex is a network of coworking spaces in Saigon and Hanoi that wants to inspire and enable young entrepreneurs to be successful. Success, that is not just about the bottom line of its members’ companies, but rather a holistic and authentic sense of doing well – personally and in business: working on something you love, with a true sense of purpose, and while creating every day and long-term sustained happiness for yourself and your teams. 


Where you work and the physical surroundings you’re in can influence your mood and productivity a lot. Good workplaces help you connect back to what drives you, every time you walk in, have a meeting or simply sit down and get some work done. Tying to their mission and vision, Dreamplex spaces are therefore designed as “spaces for success,” where every element of the physical workplace helps you grow your sense of inspiration and motivation.


Come see the exhibition at Dreamplex, 62 Trần Quang Khải, Tân Định, Quận 1.


Check out the other articles in this series:

Success Through the Lens of Art
Paint Your Own Success – Nhung Le
One Step at a Time – Huong Anh Trinh
Build a Positive Self Image – Toma Nguyen