But what does a one-night “takeover” of the Minneapolis Institute of Art by Southeast Asian/American artists and creatives look like? I wanted the evening to feel celebratory, unapologetic, and unexpected.
"I have been carrying this film around for over a quarter century from Hanoi to Saigon to Boston and to New York. The origin of these photographs lies in the Saigon of the early 1970s where I was a war orphan."
It is only the failure of the American imagination and perception—a failure and inability to recognize and make space for the full imaginative agency of Vietnamese visions—that has perpetuated the notion of a dearth or naivety of art of the Vietnamese diaspora.
The Bug is an assertion of paradoxes, a result of a hybrid refugee experience, embodying the fluctuating inside/outside perspective of the transnational being. S/he longs for stillness while on a constant journey.
This is the argument I’m trying to make, that there’s a lot to be grateful for. There’s already that calmness, there’s already that life. What I did at that stage in my life, which was only a few months ago, I just tried to look closer to home, and thought, “this could be a lot worse.”
diaCRITICS is a blog that showcases voices and stories from writers, artists and culture-makers of the Vietnamese and Southeast Asian diaspora on and from all shores. We publish poetry, fiction, essays, reviews, visual art, and more. Our founding editor and publisher is Viet Thanh Nguyen. diaCRITICS is a project of the Diasporic Vietnamese Artists Network (DVAN).