Skip to Content
On the Tip of Our Wings

On the Tip of Our Wings

Category: Permanent

Creating On the Tip of Our Wings took Nhat Tran, Vietnamese artist–now an Indianapolis resident–two years of daily toil in her downtown studio using the Asian technique, Urushi. Urushi is a time-consuming, exacting and physical labor that permanently binds natural, organic pigments and other materials to clear lacquer.

  • Artist: Nhat Tran, Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Installation: 2008
  • Materials: Lacquer; 172.25 square feet
  • Location: Ticketing Hall

Tran started by making 29 individual shapes similar to the tips of the airplane wings. She then applied 10 coats of urushi primer to each shape, then added 15 layers of fine-quality urushi, colored with pigments and dyes embellished with egg shells, gold leaf and other materials. Sanding between each application brought the colors of the previously applied layers to the surface. In all, Tran hand-applied more than 700 coats of lacquer to the 29 pieces for the final product. Guests can view this piece on the south side of the Ticketing Hall.