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Vanguard Zine brought together and highlighted the work of LGBTQ Vietnamese artists living in the U.S., Europe, Australia, and Vietnam. Now they're reflecting on the past five years of their work with a retrospective exhibit in Dorchester, Massachusetts—home to one of the largest diasporic Vietnamese communities.The Vanguard exhibit will be on display at Dorchester Art Project from April 26 to May 19, 2019.
Chi Vu is a Vietnamese Australian writer and director, and her award-winning works span genres such as the postcolonial gothic, horror and magic-realism. Her most recent work, Coloured Aliens, is a critically acclaimed comedy about an interracial couple navigating their romance in the context of racism. Mai Nguyen, an Asian Australian playwright, soon discovers that 'White Australia' only wants her to write the 'ethnic' play. Her Anglo Australian boyfriend Kevin O'Sullivan is a security guard and ex-spoken word artist on hand to provide support - and advice.
Artist and educator Phung Huynh was introduced to Rocky Rivera’s music when she heard her guest feature in Ruby Ibarra’s song, Us. Moved by the song’s themes about sisterhood, empowerment and transforming the challenges of the immigrant experience, colonialism, and cultural assimilation, Phung played the song over and over again in her car.
On February 19, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of San Francisco State University's Third World Liberation Strike, writer Viet Thanh Nguyen and photographer An-My Lê were in conversation about what Vietnamese American art means to their practice.
I often times view paper as a metaphor for history. When I am working on these hand-cut paper sculptures, I actively carve out space for histories that are actively forgotten and erased in this white supremacist nation. The reductive process deconstructs the white canvas, revealing more and more truths with every slice.
"I dive into history while recognizing that I am more than a war. / We are our ancestors’ wildest dreams. / We have suffered and continue to, but that doesn’t define us. // What value do my communities have in society? // Who is considered worthy of praise? // What is considered natural or unnatural? // What does utopia look like? // I decide. / We decide."