“Meet me through the borders and mortars” is a meditation on the conflicts and traumas of traversing national identities.
For this installation, I repeatedly create and destroy plaster statues of “Uncle Hôm” — an icon with the combined name and likeness of Ho Chi Minh and Uncle Sam — to represent my continuous search for an identity under the homogeneous confines of Vietnamese and American national identities.
These confines serve to erase my personal stories and connections to my two homes– a process that reflects, and is rooted within, our histories of wars, colonization, border politics, xenophobia, and racism.
Uncle Hôm– pronounced “home” in English phonetic, and defined as “the passing of time” in Vietnamese– represents of my trans-national identity– an absurd and sacrilege icon in the eyes of its originating parts (Vietnam and America)
I dedicate this work to my biological mother, whom I get to see once every few years due to border politics. The love, understanding, and intimate engagements from her, the rest of my family and friends, and the viewers, are ultimately what make me feel belonged and at home.