February 3, 2015
Artist Interview: Hung Tran
Hung moved to the United States from Vietnam in 1994 at the age of 13. Sadly, he later became estranged from his family and went into foster care from 9th grade until graduating high school. He studied for his BFA at Pratt Institute from 1998 to 2002, but was unable to graduate the course because “life and its distractions got a hold on me while I was supporting myself in NYC with no family. Then I went through a dark period where drugs and alcohol were my remedies. It got so dark that I lost my job and my will to live. Twice I was admitted to hospital for suicide attempts.”
In the fall of 2012, Hung heard about AWSS from a social worker at New York Presbyterian Center for Special Studies. He submitted an enrollment application, but unfortunately did not qualify to receive funding from ACCES-VR, the state public funder of the school. However, thanks to the generosity of Alpha’s supporters, we were able to offer him a private scholarship. Hung demonstrated good attitude, aptitude and attendance in the introductory class and progressed to Advanced Training where he blossomed both artistically and personally.
Whatever the discipline or exercise, Hung finished before the rest of the class and independently proceeded to do original assignments. He embraced the sense of community at Alpha, assisting others in the classroom and volunteering his time to help at organizational events. After his graduation, he became an avid and accomplished self-promoter, ultimately securing employment as an assistant designer on a line of decoupage trays with table top designer Mark Blackwell.
Hung credits Alpha with reviving his passion for life. “Alpha has been the light at the end of my tunnel! Thanks to you and your persistence, I enjoy getting up in the morning again.”