Curators Dr. Linda Trinh Vo and Tram Le, educators of the University of California Irvine, have handed me the humbling, daunting, and and awe-inspiring task to peruse through the rich information provided by the Orange County & Southeast Asian Archive, find what inspires me, and recount, through art, the personal, unique, and shared stories that are shared by the Vietnamese community of Orange County. VIETNAMESE FOCUS: Generations of Stories is a unique traveling exhibition that brings together history, oral histories, and contemporary art to commemorate the 40th year anniversary of the Fall of Saigon, documenting our lives before the war, our perseverance during the war, and our courage to rebuild, and thrive in Orange County, home to the largest population of Vietnamese outside of Vietnam. I am so very humbled to be a part of its creation, and our amazing team is proud to present this show to our communities in Orange County and beyond. A great deal of gratitude to those who have supported us during this journey. This is dedicated to you. 

The following works have been included into the exhibition, seven of which were made especially for Vietnamese Focus.

 


I AM OC, 2015, In collaboration with Aaron Kokesch, James Dinh, Linda Trinh Vo, Lisa Le, and Tram Le                                                                                               I AM (installation), Acrylic tiles, zip ties, photographs donated to the OC&SEAA, collected by the Vietnamese American Oral History Project at UC Irvine      OC (sculpture), Acrylic and collage using the Vietnamese Yellow Pages of Orange County on wood

Although the majority of Vietnamese Americans are primarily first generation, they and their descendants are leaving an indelible mark on an ever-evolving Orange County. Regardless of where we came from or the journeys that brought us here, our lives are forever etched into the durable landscape. Our past, our futures are intertwined with all those who call the OC a place of belonging. 

 


Family Tree, 2011, mixed media on panel, 5 ½ x 4” each panel  [Learn more about this series]

 


Biển, Biến, Biên (The Ocean, to Vanish, to Note), 2013
Charcoal, acrylic, and joss paper on stone, coconut shells, burlap, tree bark, tree branches and rice sacks, approximately 8 ½”h x 5”w x 3 ¾”d each
[Learn more about this series]

 


 Begins with Tea, 2013, joss paper, grains, seeds, herbs, dried noodles in tea bags, 4 1/2 x 1 3/4" each tea bag, 56 1/4 " x 26 1/4" installation  [Learn more about this series]