In collaboration with Hồng-Ân Trương
Framed archival pigment prints, laser cut prints
The opposite of looking is not invisibility. The opposite of yellow is not gold reframes vernacular family photography from the artists’ experience as Vietnamese American women growing up in the U.S. in order to render material the invisibility that undergirds narratives about the Asian American experience. A cataloguing process juxtaposes photographs that suggest the performativity of the role of the artists’ mothers with excerpts from 1970s era U.S. Congressional hearings on Vietnamese refugees, highlighting the twofold invisibility of Ngô and Trương’s mothers' labor: firstly, in the institutional language of congressional reports which render refugees as pure labor, and secondly the obscured labor of their mothers as women. The highly personal vernacular images are re-contextualized here to raise questions about how labor is inscribed within a larger cultural narrative of race and gender politics.
Images from SPACES, Cleveland. Credit: Jerry Mann