“The Last Woman on Earth” is part of a body of photographic work created in conjunction with Nguyen’s recent video project “The Boat People.” This little girl, who we discover is the last woman on earth, comes face to face with a mysterious Quanyin statue head buried in the sand on the beach in Bataan. They engage in a dialogue that explores concepts of a future and a past world through an existential lens. This dialogue, both literally and figuratively, brings the dead object to life again.
The Quanyin (also Padmapani), or female Buddha of Compassion, is regarded as one of the most widely beloved Buddhist divinities, with powers to aid all who pray to her. She is generally seen as a source of unconditional love, and more importantly, as a saviour, and also known as the “Goddess of Mercy.”