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Come On! The Politics of Contemporary Visual Art in Cambodia, Viet Nam and Beyond

A talk by artist, curator and writer Việt Lê, Assistant Professor, Visual Studies | Visual and Critical Studies, California College of the Arts, San Francisco

Thursday, February 28, 2013
3:00 PM - 4:30 PM
2100A Broad Hall
UCLA Campus
Los Angeles, CA 90095

Image credit: Việt Lê, boy bang! (Boeung Kak/ Bang Kok), 2010, 200 X 200 cm (78.7 X 78.7”), Custom digital print banner, Edition of 3

“Why Have There Been No Great Vietnamese Artists?” art historian Nora Taylor asks in her provocative essay.  This talk further reconsiders the links between power, art, politics, and prejudice. Việt Lê queeries the strategies “local” and “diasporic” Khmer and Vietnamese artists and organizers use in a global art market. He also shares his projects as a curator, artist and researcher dealing with sexuality, modernity, and trauma in the interstices of Phnom Penh, Sài Gòn, Los Angeles, Seoul and Taipei.

Việt Lê's work deals with popular visual culture, historical trauma, and modernity in Southeast Asia and its diasporas, particularly Viet Nam and Cambodia. Lê has been published in positions: asia critique; Crab Orchard Review; Fuse; Amerasia Journal; Asia Art Archive; Newsweek Asia; and the anthologies Writing from the Perfume River; Strange Cargo; The Spaces Between Us; Modern and Contemporary Southeast Asian Art; among others. Lê’s artwork has been featured at The Banff Centre, Alberta, Canada; DoBaeBacSa Gallery, Seoul, Korea; Cape Museum of Fine Arts, MA, USA; 1a Space, Hong Kong; among other venues. Lê has received fellowships from the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, Fulbright-Hays, William Joiner Center, Fine Arts Work Center, Center for Khmer Studies, and PEN Center USA.

He curated Miss Saigon with the Wind (Highways Performance Space, Santa Monica); Charlie Don't Surf! (Centre A, Vancouver); and Chains of Love: the Shadows of Empire (Oceanside Museum of Art, Oceanside; Green Papaya Art Projects, Quezon City). He co-curated humor us with Leta Ming and Yong Soon Min (Los Angeles), transPOP: Korea Viet Nam Remix with Yong Soon Min (Seoul, Saigon, San Francisco) and the Kuandu Biennale (Taipei).

He has co-edited special issues of BOL Journal (Viet Nam and Us, 2008) and Reflections: A Journal of Writing, Service Learning, and Community Literacy (Syracuse University Press, 2008). Lê received his MFA from the University of California, Irvine, where he has also taught Studio Art and Visual Culture courses. He received his doctorate from the University of Southern California and was a postdoctoral fellow at Academia Sinica, Taipei. Lê is an Assistant Professor in Visual Studies and Visual and Critical Studies at California College of the Arts, San Francisco.

Cost : Free and open to the public.


Sponsor(s): Center for Southeast Asian Studies

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