“Meet me through the borders and mortars”

 

Plaster, water, photo of mom

Dimensions variable

2017

“Meet me through the borders and mortars” is a meditation on the conflicts and traumas of traversing national identities.

For the piece, 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.

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.

 

On 10/22, someone vandalized the installation. I made a response, which was posted within the installation

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