Mar 08 2019
In this major solo exhibition at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Chung probes the legacies of the Vietnam War and its aftermath through maps, videos, and paintings that highlight the voices and stories of former Vietnamese refugees. Chung documents accounts that have largely been left out of official histories of the period and begins to tell an alternative story of the war’s ideology and effects. A centerpiece of the exhibition is a new series of video interviews with former Vietnamese refugees who live in Houston, Southern California, and Northern Virginia.
Vietnam, Past Is Prologue makes visible a history hidden in plain sight for the past forty-five years. Her subject, the War in Vietnam (1955–1975), has achieved a nearly mythic significance in the United States. In Vietnam, “the War” devastated life as it had been known, dividing time into a “before” and “after.” Yet missing from the narratives told by these two sides is the perspective of the South Vietnamese, on whose behalf the Americans entered the war.
Through meticulously drawn and stitched maps, emotional interviews, and intensive archival research, Chung explores the experience of refugees who were part of the large-scale immigration during the post-1975 exodus from Vietnam. She begins with a fine-grained look into one person’s story—that of her father, who fought for the South Vietnamese military during the war, widens out to encompass the stories of former refugees from Vietnam, and pulls out further still to show the global effects of their collective migration in the war’s wake.
Mar 07 2019
Lien Truong is participating in the group exhibition “Can’t Lock Me Up: Women Resist Silence” at Turner Carroll Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico. The exhibition, featuring work by prominent female artists including Judy Chicago, Hung Liu and Jenny Holzer, presents a stance for feminine power, one that is confident, bold and resilient in the face of adversity.
“One hundred years ago, the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution was passed. The next year the 19th Amendment was ratified, and American women won their right to vote. Today we can hear masses of men and even some women yelling “Lock her up!” and repeatedly invoking phrases historically used to degrade women such as “witch hunt,” “unhinged,” “low IQ individual” and “nasty.” Our mothers, sisters, wives and daughters are still groped. This story, of course, runs through Washington, D.C., the very place where the 19th Amendment was made the law of the United States. In light of the successes and failures of our republic, as well as governments all over the world, are the voices of women, themselves. They deserve to be heard, they’ve fought for the right to be heard, and we like hearing them!”
Dec 19 2018
Constellations Sunflower, a cyanotype print by Christine Nguyen, has been acquired by the J. Paul Getty Museum’s Department of Photographs Collection.
Born in California, the daughter of immigrants from Vietnam, Christine Nguyen grew up exploring what her father, a commercial fisherman, would bring home from the sea. Fostering an interest in the natural world around her, these childhood rambles through the ocean’s offerings may have built the foundation for her later artistic practice, which much like life in the sea, thrives on salt. When drawing, salt crystals and spray paint are layered onto her cyanotypes.(The process) further inform us on how different versions of existence can merge into one: the landscape of a subterranean world, alien architecture or mountain range stands in the foreground, silhouetted against what could be the saturated colors of an imagined sunset filled with plant-like heavenly bodies.
Christine Nguyen, Constellations Sunflower I, 2017, cyanotype on watercolor paper, 137.16 x 129.54 cm
Dec 05 2018
Ha Manh Thang is presenting new work in a solo exhibition titled Ellipses at the Vincom Center for Contemporary Art in Hanoi. A continuation of the ongoing project The Circle of Time, Ellipses reflects Thang’s poetic contemplations of time, space and light. Influenced by the poetry of Li Bai and Du Fu, Thang seeks within these ancient words a sense of fading lights, of passing moments, and the romantic temperament of serious souls moved by a few seconds of a season. His paintings evoke moments of mourning, of grief and of the passing of time: a cyclical process from dark to light, from light to dark, from clarity to obscurity and back again.
Nov 15 2018
The Propeller Group will present their latest works in an eponymous exhibition at The Luckman Gallery, Los Angeles.
This exhibition, The Propeller Group’s first in Los Angeles, brings together eight works — including film, prints, and sculptures — created over the last six years. Taken together, the works exemplify the artists’ exploratory approach to a range of subject matter, illuminating themes of cultural collision, mythmaking, and the often violent realities of contemporary history. While their projects explore the intersections of culture and politics with a particular and expansive focus on Vietnam, where the artists live and work in Ho Chi Minh City, it is a uniquely interdisciplinary and open approach that defines their practice.
Oct 01 2018
Art Labor, a collective comprising artists Phan Thao Nguyen and Truong Cong Tung and curator Arlette Quynh-Tran, are collaborating with Joan Jonas to present their ongoing project Jrai Dew. Taking inspiration from the Jrai belief in the human and the cosmos, Jrai Dew critically looks at the cost of the capitalized world through mythic narratives.
The 57th edition of the Carnegie International offers visitors an abundance of encounters with the work of artists and collectives from around the world. The exhibition explores what “international” means at a moment when questions of nations, nationalism, boundaries, and border crossings are becoming ever more urgent. At the same time, the exhibition is very much of its specific place and time: Pittsburgh, 2018; local visitors will recognize the art of familiar, Pittsburgh-based artists. Bridging shifting terrains and forging surprising linkages, the exhibition invites visitors to make their own connections in the presence of art and other people.
Sep 30 2018
Loud Silence: Expressions of Activism calls on the viewer to examine their own blind-spots and understand perspectives they may have never considered through art. The works featured demonstrate the unique perils of living while a woman, while of color, while indigenous, while LGBTQIA+, and while an immigrant. For centuries, artists have used the image of the body as an exploration of their humanity and that of their subjects. This exhibition explores artists who use the human figure or body as a means for activism. The exhibition features artwork by 40 artists including Judy Chicago, Kara Walker, Faith Ringgold, Ana Mendieta, Kiki Smith, and Jenny Holzer.
Aug 31 2018
Truong Cong Tung is participating alongside Khvay Samang, Phan Thao Nguyen, Wang Zhibo and Maung Day in the group exhibition “Constructing Mythologies” at Edouard Malingue Gallery, Hong Kong.
The exhibition aims to explore the social construction of certain mythologies in Cambodia, China, Myanmar and Vietnam, in particular. These countries have deeply relied, and still do, on official narratives, developing and supporting fictional discourses in order to promote dominant State ideology and to obscure some parts of reality and history. Some mythologies thus serve specific political agendas while others are generated by collective beliefs – the global capitalist system, for instance – and grow and subsist beyond national boundaries. They can both invigorate society or limit its scope of expression. In response to these myths, art opposes its own fictional and independent discourses.
Truong Cong Tung and Khvay Samang’s works are responding to each other. They question the encounter between two opposite mythologies that cohabit in rural areas in Southeast Asia. These lands are often the territory of sacred places and spirits, the cradle for mythical and traditional beliefs transmitted by diverse ethnic minorities who have been living there for centuries in harmony with nature. Today, with the intensive exploitation of land and rapid deforestation, traditions are waning and these ancient beliefs are threatened. However, they seem to be somehow replaced by another set of beliefs based on the rhetoric of modernity and prosperity, built by the State and by private development companies.
Aug 15 2018
Trong Gia Nguyen’s second solo exhibition this summer at a US institution features a wide array of works that examine structures of power in their myriad forms, scrutinizing the soft foundation upon which contemporary life plays out. Dogg Days includes sculptural objects that are playful in nature yet maintain a “deep state” of subversion and enquiry.
Jul 15 2018
Tuan Andrew Nguyen’s My Ailing Beliefs Can Cure Your Wretched Desires at 10 Chancery Lane, Hong Kong reviewed by Ophelia Lai in Art Asia Pacific.
“I’ve always looked upon the Christian rite of consuming Christ’s body and blood, taken quite literally in Catholicism, with a degree of squeamishness. The logic of eating that which you worship indicates (at least, to this heretic) that the path from pious to base is a short one. The disturbing paradoxes within humanity’s belief systems, mythologies and obsessive patterns of consumption—and the actual destruction this wrecks on our planet—are at the heart of Tuan Andrew Nguyen’s incisive solo exhibition, “My Ailing Beliefs Can Cure Your Wretched Desires,” which was executed with conviction, clarity and a hefty dose of black humor.” — #Ophelia Lai at #ArtAsiaPacific
Read the full review here: