Artist Projects


T. Kim-Trang Tran

amaurosis is a documentary video about Dat Duc Nguyen, a classical guitarist living in the community of Little Saigon in Orange County, California. Dat was a “triple outcast:” blind, Amerasian, and an impoverished orphan. His American father left Vietnam in 1973, and his mother died in 1975, leaving him with his half sister. Living on the streets of Saigon, they sold lottery tickets for food money. At the age of 12, Dat met a classical music teacher who was also blind and who supported Dat and his half sister while teaching him to read Braille. When he was 18, Dat heard Segovia played for the first time on his teacher’s radio and was hooked on classical guitar. Several years later, when he learned that Amerasian children could immigrate to the U.S. under a new program, Dat immigrated to the United States to begin a new life. Dat needed little accommodation for his blindness in learning classical guitar; he is able to play almost anything note for note after hearing it only once.

Project Updates

  • 2010: An iteration of amaurosis is screened at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago

  • 2010: amaurosis is featured in a DVD box set entitled The Blindness Series released by Video Data Bank

  • 2002: amaurosis is screened at the Directors Guild of America in Los Angeles

  • 2003: amaurosis is screened at the Chicago International Documentary Festival

  • 2008: amaurosis is screened at REDCAT as part of Tran T. Kim-Trang: The Complete Blindness Series