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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Six Artistic Perspectives from the Vietnamese American Diaspora in Southern California

  • Author(s): Goetz, David Hai
  • Advisor(s): Whiting, Cecile M
  • et al.

The reunification of North and South Vietnam at the end of the Vietnam War in 1975 was a tumultuous time. Many Vietnamese citizens, afraid of communist persecution, fled the country in search of political asylum and were relocated to new host countries throughout the world. The Unites States houses the largest such population of refugees in Orange County, California. This dissertation focuses on six varying perspectives from that community, in the form of visual voices of immigrant Vietnamese American artists, as they delve into representational issues that reflect the general diaspora, including themes of trauma and memory, sexual identity and gender role, displacement and alienation, and the concepts of allegiance and home.

From visual analysis of art work, personal interviews conducted with the artists, varying secondary resources, including art reviews and critical responses to exhibitions, the project explores the viability of art as a communication tool that creates dialogue between the Vietnamese American diaspora and the larger society.

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