Groundbreaking Vietnamese art history exhibit now open in Austin
April 1, 2020

Three groundbreaking Vietnamese art and history exhibits now open

By Yvonne Lim Wilson

vietnamese art
Artist Khai Nguyen (left) traveled from California to attend the opening with his wife (second from left), family friend and AARC Exhibit Specialist Vivian Lin (right). They are posed in front of “Moonlight,” mixed media, by Khai Nguyen.

The Asian American Resource Center (AARC) brings together three groundbreaking Vietnamese art exhibits, each uniquely pioneering, for a special art exhibit: “Vivid Strokes: Contemporary Paintings from Vietnam,” “Vietnam to Austin: Restoring Community,” and “Vietnamese American Art: Selected Works.” All three exhibits opened in October and will be on display through Friday, Dec. 30.

“Vivid Strokes: Contemporary Paintings from Vietnam” showcases 16 recent paintings from six internationally acclaimed Vietnamese artists: Thanh Chuong, Ha Tri Hieu, Hong Viet Dung, Pham An Hai, Doan Hoang Lam, and Doan Xuan Tang. All works are on loan from the International Modern Art Gallery (IMAG) in Houston. IMAG, founded by Vietnamese art dealer Quynh Nguyen in 2014, is dedicated to promoting emerging and established Southeast Asian artists in the United States.

Since the late 1970s, artists in Vietnam have enjoyed increasing artistic freedom where previously the communist government had expected all art to conform to the social realism style. Today, Vietnamese artists continue to explore different directions in art. Each painter in “Vivid Strokes” maintains their distinct style, with interests in rural sceneries, local folk culture, lacquer, cubism and abstract expressionism. Hieu and Dung are members of the famed artist group Hanoi Gang of Five, five Vietnamese artists who exhibited together locally and internationally from the late 1980s to mid-1990s.

“Vietnamese American Art: Selected Works” brings together selected artworks by established Vietnamese American artists Ann Phong, Nguyen Khai and Nguyen Phuoc who grew up in the Southern part of Vietnam, lived through the war, and resettled in the U.S during their adult years. The artists delve into complex memories of their past to create compelling art pieces that expose their turbulent life experiences. This exhibit was produced by the AARC with community partner Vietnamese American Heritage Foundation and curated by Nancy Bui, President of the Vietnamese American Heritage Foundation.

In addition to the two Vietnamese art exhibits, the AARC is re-introducing “Vietnam to Austin: Restoring Community,” originally produced by the Austin History Center in partnership with the Vietnamese American Heritage Foundation in 2009. The exhibit was the first of its kind in the country to depict the history, transition and contributions of local Vietnamese Americans in Austin through historic photos, documents, periodicals and archives.

“Vivid Strokes” is part of the AARC’s ongoing Community Art Exhibit Program, which displays artworks that celebrate the diverse and dynamic cultural heritage, history, identity and creativity of Asians and Asian Americans. The mission of the Asian American Resource Center is to provide cultural spaces, resources and programs through an Asian American Pacific Islander perspective that serves the Austin community. Please visit for more information.

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