EUGENE, ORE.- The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art
on the University of Oregon campus presents Reframing the Fragments: The Best We Could Do, the museums third annual Common Seeing exhibition. On view now through February 17, 2019, the exhibition features artists from different places, contexts, and generations that use personal reflections and storytelling to create their work. Reframing the Fragments is held in conjunction with the 2018 Common Reading selection, The Best We Could Do, Thi Buis illustrated memoir about one familys journey from their war-torn home in Vietnam (Việt Nam) to a new life in California.
Common Reading at UO is a year of conversation around a shared book, says Cheryl Hartup, JSMA Associate Curator of Academic Programs and Latin American Art. This exhibition expands upon several of the themes in Buis memoir. The art selected for this years Common Seeing exhibition is diverse in media and intent, aimed at generating dialogue around what we have inherited and what we will pass on to future generations.
Reframing the Fragments features the work of artists from the Vietnamese diaspora and of Vietnamese descent living in the United States and Vietnam (Việt Nam). Artists Thi Bui, Binh Danh, Dinh Q. Lê, and Phan Cẩm Thượng experienced the anguish and chaos of the Vietnam War, also known in Vietnam (Việt Nam) as the American War. Their works embody the complex sensations related to remembering and forgetting, tradition and innovation, and trying to make sense of fragments of memory and history. They address the impact of war both environmentally and culturally. Ann Le is a first generation Vietnamese American to immigrant parents. Growing up, she heard the collaborative memories of her mother, father, and sister, and her photomontages bridge truth and fiction, separation and reconstruction.
Made in the 1960s, Violet Rays collages of advertising and photojournalism from the pages of Life magazine and Nelson Sandgrens lithograph criticize the United States involvement in the Vietnam War. Their images, as well as Matthew Pictons works Apocalypse Now #1 and The Mekong River, Apocalypse Now #2, on view in the JSMAs Artist Project Space through December 30, encourage viewers to think critically about colonization and conquest as they relate to the Vietnam War.
Reframing the Fragments is supported by the Ballinger Endowment.