All posts filed under: Museums

MIA Erasure, My Reflection

To much fanfare, the exhibit Artists Respond: American Art and the Vietnam War, 1965-1975 opened in Minnesota at the Minneapolis Institute of Art this month and will run until January 5th, 2020. It’s billed as a way to look at “the innovative ways artists talked back, often in the streets and other public venues. The exhibition presents nearly 100 works by 58 of the period’s most visionary, provocative artists.” For Southeast Asians of Vietnamese, Hmong, Laotian, and Cambodian descent, and active military veterans, you can even see the exhibit for free. It’s been a long time since I’ve been given free admission to an art exhibit to witness the complete erasure of my community’s perspective and reactions to the Vietnam War, the Secret War, and the Killing Fields. For Minnesotans, who arguably have one of the most deeply tangled relationships with Southeast Asia than almost any other US state, this ought to be a stirring and profound exhibit: one filled with so many heartbreaking memories and reflections on themes and issues addressed over four decades ago, …

Exhibit explores Lao refugee experience, idea of home

A traveling exhibit documenting the experiences of multi-ethnic Lao refugees opens this weekend. “Between Two Worlds: Untold Stories of Refugees from Laos,” hosted by the Center for Lao Studies, opens Saturday at Turtle Bay Museum, 844 Sundial Bridge Drive in Redding, California. The exhibit will be open from Oct. 6, 2018 through Jan. 13, 2019. According to the center’s website, the exhibit examines the idea of home and the stages of what home has meant for Lao refugees and multi-ethnic Lao Americans throughout history. It highlights life in four areas: Laos, captivity, refugee camps and America. It will make four more stops throughout California, including Fresno, San Diego, San Francisco and Sacramento. “We have been in the U.S. for at least 40 years and if we don’t gather this information and stories they will forever be lost,” Vinya Saysamouth, project co-director and executive director of CLS, said in the exhibit’s trailer. “It’s a unique story in American history and it’s also universal in many different ways.” The project began in 2009 as an oral history …