Museum of Contemporary Vietnamese America (M.O.C.V.A.), 2019

Mixed media installation, performance, and photo/document archive.

See below for details.

Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Museum of Contemporary Vietnamese America

65 March St., Suite #8

Washington, D.C. 550000

The Museum of Contemporary Vietnamese America (MOCVA), an independent non-profit museum dedicated to preserving and documenting the lives, cultures, and politics of Vietnamese people living in the US after the end of the Vietnam War and into present-day, has just announced that it is organizing a small exhibition celebrating the largely unknown Vietnamese-American comic artist Nguyễn Tị Nạn (b. 1954 in Điện Biên Phủ, Việt Nam).

 

The exhibition, titled Make War, Not Love will feature original illustrations, as well as personal objects (from Nguyễn’s life and upbringing) that informed Nguyễn’s practice as an illustrator and aspiring comic artist. From highly lurid yet symbolic comic book-esque illustrations to the furniture and toys that Nguyễn owned and interacted with regularly, this show documents the progression of Nguyễn’s art practice as it coincides with the events of the Vietnam War.

 

This exhibition marks the first time in history that the museum will be showing the work of a Vietnamese artist who is also an open member of the LGBT community, but it also marks the official closing of the museum.* Make War, Not Love may be the last exhibition at MOCVA, but it continues to support MOCVA’s mission in shedding light on all margins of the Vietnamese American community.

 

The exhibition will be on view for a single day--April 7, 1997--the same day that the museum is closing. All of the work and artifacts on display will be for sale during an auction planned for the next day following a walkthrough with the curator of the show, Ti Nan Nguyễn. 

 

*While the museum may be closing its doors to the public, its founder and chief curator, Ti Nan Nguyễn (b. 1975 in Sài Gòn, Việt Nam), has chosen not to claim the status of a permanent shuttering, in hopes that enough funding can be obtained in the coming months for a re-opening. There is currently no expected date that the museum is set to re-open.

 

For further inquiries, please contact the museum directly.

Photo documentation of the performance aspect of the project:

Opening reception of MOCVA's Make War, Not Love and walkthrough with "curator Ti Nan Nguyễn." Special thanks to Christine Cho, Tommy Maing, Dashaun Sutton-Harris, Jessica Kazuko Kim, and Victoria Xu. 

 

Photos taken by Christine Cho, Tommy Maing, and Tinan Nguyen, and digitally edited by Tinan Nguyen to reflect the 1997 setting of the installation and performance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Installation shots

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Details (sculptural pieces)

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Digitally embroidered hoodie, industrially knitted fabric made from cotton and thermoplastic-polyurethane (TPU) coated yarns, spray painted children's office chair, MDF, acrylic paint, house paint, low gloss Clear-Seal, various stickers, 8.5" x 11" sign stand.

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Sign stand detail

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MDF, house paint, gloss acrylic medium, foam dummy heads, paracord, spray paint, acrylic paint, straw conical hats, ribbon.

 

Stanchions made with wooden dowels, wooden disks, spray paint, and black masking tape.

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MDF, spray paint, house paint, low gloss Clear-Seal, rubber frogs, toy soldiers, toy gun, stuffed frog plushies, ninja sai toys, satin, storage ottoman, industrially knitted fabrics made from cotton, Merino wool, and rayon.

 

Stanchions made with wooden dowels, wooden disks, spray paint, and black masking tape.

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MDF, plywood, various books and toys, acrylic paint, house paint, Polycrylic, low gloss Clear-Seal, digitally embroidered satin, spray paint, old TV (playing Mulan (1998) on VHS with captions), VCR.

 

Stanchions made with wooden dowels, wooden disks, spray paint, and black masking tape.

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MDF, house paint, low gloss Clear-Seal, plywood, acrylic paint, doorknob, door hinges, crayon drawings on sketch paper or Bristol, digitally printed images, mylar, hand mirror, 8.5" x 11" sign stand.

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MDF, acrylic paint, house paint, spray Polycrylic, sword stand, plastic katana toy, spray paint, digitally printed pamphlets.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Details (drawings)

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Purple Toad x Frogman, 2019

36" x 24"

Crayon on mylar

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F*ggotman and Frogman Kill Purple Toad, 2019

24" x 18"

Crayon and colored pencil on paper, stickers

Mantiswoman Strikes, 2019

Fits within 24" x 36"

Crayon and colored pencil on mylar

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Mantisgirl vs F*ggotman, 2019

24" x 18"

Crayon and colored pencil on mylar

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Mantisgirl's Victory, 2019

36" x 24"

Colored pencil on mylar

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Mantisboy is Born, 2019

24" x 36"

Crayon on mylar

Mantisboy's Parental Figure - Tinan Nguyen

Mantisboy's Parental Figure, 2019

24" x 18"

Crayon and colored pencil on paper, stickers

F*ggotman vs Frogman - Tinan Nguyen

F*ggotman vs Frogman, 2018

Fits within 36" x 36"

Colored pencil on mylar

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F*ggotman Transcendence, 2019

24" x 36"

Crayon on mylar

Make War, Not Love continues to live on in the form of a manila folder, MOCVA's archive on Nguyễn Tị Nạn's solo exhibition.

 

The folder's contents include documents from the Make War, Not Love exhibition: wall text samples, pamphlets handed out to museum guests, photographs, and a contact sheet.

 

Additionally, the folder also contains copies of the press release, curatorial statement, short biographies on the curator and the artist, newspaper clippings, and even an exhibition catalog.

 

(Edition of 5.)

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