“Textures of April 30th” Traveling Exhibition — Call for submissions

Photo by Dao Strom


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OPEN NOW THROUGH END OF JUNE 2020.

TEXTURES OF APRIL 30th — CALL FOR ART

Last year, diaCRITICS launched “(Re-)membering” April 30th: a submissions call for writers and artists of the diaspora to reflect on April 30th in terms of both the past and the present. “(Re-)membering” asked artists to look at not just a moment of crucial rupture in our pasts, but considered the memory and “textures” of the diasporic experience that have been collected and re-imagined since that historic day in 1975. This search was a call for “texture poems” of the Vietnamese diaspora in contemplation of April 30th.

As we approach April 30th, we are proud to announce Textures of April 30th: Traveling Exhibition. This exhibit is an extension of the “(Re-)membering” April 30th “Texture Poems” series we initiated last April 30th, 2019. With the collaboration of Exhibit Envoy, we will curate and launch the exhibit at the Oakland Asian Cultural Center in April 2021. We plan to tour the exhibition to other public venues, including small museums, libraries, and cultural centers throughout the country. Our goal is to highlight emerging creative voices of the diaspora and insist on the importance of our memories, subjectivities, and imagination.

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2020 is Year 45 for those of us whose own or whose families’ journeys were sparked by the exodus events of April 30, 1975—a date that marks the Fall of Saigon and the dissolution of South Vietnam. For those of us in the diaspora, this historic event also marks the dawn of our Vietnamese diasporic identity as a people scattered to locations all across the globe (although we acknowledge that some Vietnamese left the motherland also before and after that date, and it is of course not possible to claim just one “birthdate” for all of our diasporic journeys). In general, however, we recognize April 30th as a date that holds commemorative weight for many Vietnamese on various shores. It is a date often remembered poignantly – as a loss – especially by those of South Vietnamese descent; as well, it is a date that denotes new beginnings.

Like all deaths, it is a date of both ending and rebirth.

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With this traveling exhibit, initiated in 2020, we wish to reflect on this day in terms of both the past and the present with more artistic representation in contemplation of April 30th to include in the exhibit. To help us capture this, we welcome your submissions of visual art, audio works, or audiovisual pieces.

What does this day look like, now and/or then, for those in the diaspora (and those in Vietnam, too, who may be reading this): how do you and those around you (re)member April 30th? What does this process of remembering/re-membering (or not remembering, for that matter…) look like in your community, in your family, in your own wrestlings i.e. with memory/forgetting, questing, healing or wishing to, with returns (for some of us) or refusals to?

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Your submission can be visual, filmed, recorded, or some hybrid representation.

Here are some questions to ponder:

– What does April 30th mean to you today?

– What does April 30th (or terms like “Black April” or “Fall of Saigon” or “reunification” etc) look like in your memory? or via your inherited stories or imaginings of this history?

– How is this day or history remembered, commemorated, celebrated, etc. in your communities, families, households, etc? Or not? (i.e. what then do the silences and absences look like??)

– How has this historic day been built upon/from since? i.e. what do your diasporic surroundings or community look like today?

– If you have returned to the motherland or are someone who comes and goes between shores, what does that perspective on the diasporic experience look like for you?

– How do you picture or understand your/our Vietnamese diasporic being today, 45 years beyond the April 30th event? How might you represent this, in a portrait, an object, a setting, a scene, a poem, or …?

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We would like to see “textures” from as many different parts of the diaspora as we can reach (we encourage submissions from all countries!) and from all perspectives of comings and goings. Please share this submission call and help us expand our reach to different corners and communities of the Vietnamese diaspora.

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Please send to wearedvan@gmail.com:

    • a single image or photograph, or sequence of images (up to 3-5 related images)
    • a video or audio file
    • or: a combination of the two elements above
    • please include a title for your “texture”, plus your biographical information and/or an artist statement (150 words or less); plus any relevant website links
    • you are welcome to send in multiple entries

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This submission call will be open from today to June 30th, 2020.

A panelist will review and select submissions to be included in the exhibit by July 31st, 2020.

Have fun, and we look forward to reading/seeing your April 30th / Year 45- inspired diasporic texture art!

Please review these important guidelines to consider before you submit your artwork.


 

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