My work explores themes related to my background. My grandparents immigrated to Vietnam from China during WWII, and my family and I lived in Vietnam until I was twelve-years-old. Though we translated our last name from Chinese to Vietnamese and assimilated in some ways, we still had a different language and customs. There I was considered Chinese. China was my homeland.
After immigrating to the United States this identity came into question. In this new context my connections to China were less relevant: I was from Vietnam, with a Vietnamese name; I spoke the language. To Americans I was Vietnamese.
Now I have lived in the United States much longer than I have lived in Vietnam. I have assimilated to this culture to the extent that when I visit Vietnam, I no longer feel that country is my home. I consider myself Chinese Vietnamese American. I have aspects of all three cultures, yet I am in between them all. In my art I explore identity, home, keeping traditions, change, and the dichotomy between East and West.
Mekong #56 Encaustic, Paper Pulp, and Ink 14” x 42” 2008
Mekong #59 Encaustic, Paper Pulp, and Ink