Reverberating Bodies

It is time for Vietnamese women to be celebrated for our capacity to create visions of joy and wonder that speak to the spirit of all people.
Cosmos-flower-copy
Christine Nguyen, “Cosmos Flower IV,” 2022, Archival pigment inks on Entrada Moab paper with salt crystals, 40” x 33”

Our bodies are our homes

We carry our worlds with us

As long as we do not forget

The sound of our own

Voices

As an empath, an artist and writer, a refugee, and a Vietnamese American woman, this time in history has been especially challenging. As I have struggled to find light through my own depression and despair — the oppressive and ominous Củ Chi Tunnel of Covid-19 and hauntings of civil war — I looked for hope, healing, and survival in the art and inspiration of other Vietnamese American women.

For over 46 years, women of the Vietnamese diaspora have been in the U.S. Our identities and experiences have mainly been defined by the aftermath of war and overshadowed by the Western, white, male military machine.

It is time for the genius and power of Vietnamese women’s voices to resonate beyond war and transcend trauma. It is time for Vietnamese women to be celebrated for our capacity to create visions of joy and wonder that speak to the spirit of all people.

As the curator of “Reverberating Bodies,” I am honored to bring the dynamic worlds of Christine Nguyen and Dao Strom to the forefront. These artists have distinct and contrasting aesthetics, yet they both push us to explore parts of our interior worlds that are intangible, ambiguous, and ethereal. Since Nguyen and Strom have collaborated before, this exhibit creates space for the synergy of their works to evolve.

Our Twin Cities community needs a respite from the current chaos. I hope others will feel as transformed and healed as I have by the dynamic art of Strom and Nguyen. I am eternally grateful for their brilliance.

“Reverberating Bodies” is available to the public February 5–March 20, 2022, at the Catherine G. Murphy Gallery at St. Catherine University in Saint Paul. gallery.stkate.edu