Vietnamese-American artist Tiffany Chung recently led a workshop for young students from a Red Cross school. The workshop was held at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in 2016 as part of an education- and research project for refugee children and young refugee students called Travelling with Art, a project that since 2011 has been supported by the Ole Kirk Foundation and the Knud Højgaards Foundation.
The students drew their own maps, reflecting their own dreams and stories.
One of the biggest political and social issues of our time is the refugee crisis. Tiffany Chung uses questions of migration, conflict and cultural memory as the raw material for her art.
Chung’s work often takes the form of participatory workshops in which the artist uses maps and cartography as a medium for young refugees to think about their experiences. “As refugees, some of them might have gone through horrific journeys … To be able to be reflective and put their minds together is not an easy task. Especially if you are in a situation where you are uncertain about tomorrow, about what the future holds for you.”
Herself a refugee from the Vietnam War, Chung has worked extensively with the conflict that affected her family and people. And while there are plenty of versions of this conflict being told – the American, the South Vietnamese and the North Vietnamese version – Chung points out that the war stories are rarely those of the people actually affected by the conflict: “The people who are affected by it, the casualties of the war, what is their version? In a lot of Hollywood movies you mostly hear the American voices, you hardly hear the Vietnamese voices. We were the extras, we were the people running around in the background, the Americans were the heroes.”
Chung’s art is a way to questions these dominant narratives, she explains: “I don’t give answers in my work. But I would challenge the viewer in terms of questioning what the story really is, whether there is truth to it or if there are other possibilities of what the story could be.”
Read more and watch the video interview to Tiffany Chung on the Louisiana Channel here.