Saturday, January 17, 2009

Controversial art exhibit on Vietnam ends early

Source: LA Daily News
Source: LA Times

A sign outside an art exhibit warned visitors about the "highly sensitive political material" inside.

One photograph showed a woman sitting next to a golden bust of communist leader Ho Chi Minh and wearing a red tank top bearing the yellow star of the Vietnamese flag.

Other images depicted the painful flight of refugees from Vietnam nearly four decades ago and their ongoing struggles in the U.S.

The Vietnamese American Arts &; Letters Association hoped its exhibit would spark dialogue about the wide range of viewpoints in the Southern California community founded by refugees from communism.

But the show drew a barrage of criticism and prompted demands for curators to remove the provocative pieces.

Co-curator Tram Le said the exhibit closed two days early Friday because of community anger and news from city code inspectors that organizers were not allowed to hold an art exhibit in the ground floor of the office building they had leased.

"We just realized how hurt the community was, and we wanted to be sensitive," she said.

Nice to see you JUST realized that honey. You wanted to bring communist symbols to Orange County and "challenge" the people into opening their minds and ideas. You got the response didn't you :)

A protest had been planned for today. It was unclear whether the early closing would stop the demonstration.

It did not. Pictures here (Vietnamese).

Santa Ana police officers arrested a man this morning after he unfurled a flag of communist Vietnam among a crowd of hundreds of anti-communist demonstrators protesting a provocative art exhibit. The exhibit was shut down Friday after organizers grew concerned about the threat of large-scale demonstrations and Santa Ana officials said it didn't the proper permits.

Woohoo! A guy with a red flag disturbing the demonstration got arrested and not the demonstrators who beat him up. That's justice to me :)

1 comment:

Roger Williams said...

Well, let it also be noted that the urge to be "shocking" is not longer a complement for art, but rather, has become art's only apparent aim. Without stirring up shit amongst South Vietnamese immigrants, what would you be left with? A mediocre exhibition of "found art"?