Uncle Hôm (2015)
Oil on Canvas, plaster powder, water, 2-part mould, flags
70 x 36 x 36
“National cultures are contested within and from outside a country. They are defined by, and are meant to sustain the powerful elite within a nation, and they are defined by others as a way of distinguishing one national culture from another; ours and theirs”
Cuno, James. 2008. Who Owns Antiquity: Museums and The Battle Over Our Ancient Heritage. pg12. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
In this work. I combine the likeness and name of two of the revered nationalist figures in America and Vietnam: the Vietnamese revolutionary– Hồ Chí Minh– and personification of American government– Uncle Sam. The result is Uncle Hôm– pronounced “home” in English phonetic, and defined as “the passing of time” in Vietnamese.
Uncle Hôm is a representation of my trans-national identity– an absurd and sacrilege icon in the eyes of its originating parts (Vietnam and America). Just as Hôm is confined to the shape of his 2-part mold, I am bounded by the expectations of nationalistic performances. The clash of these identities mirrors the history of the Vietnam war, as well as xenophobia and racial discrimination within in the American landscape, where histories and traumas of individuals from marginalized communities are censored.
I produce and circulate images of Uncle Hôm through objects that recall propaganda and monuments art, such as paintings, stickers, and busts.
For more work involving Uncle Hôm: Click here