Memories of the Vietnam- American War: Contemporary Vietnamese Perspectives on Its Legacy

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Art History

Additional Faculty Advisors (if relevant)

Saleema Waraich


“Life is a reflection that ripples with each memory” – Barbara Tran

This poignant quote comes from an interview with Barbara Tran, a Vietnamese woman who immigrated to the United States after the fall of Saigon in 1975.1 I use this quote to open the essay on this exhibition because, in less then ten words, this sentence highlights one of its central themes. Memory is a unique phenomenon that allows us to bring the past into the present, inevitably impacting the future. History is destined to repeat itself, and yet it is our capacity to remember and learn that leads to a ripple effect of change. It is sometimes easy to forget that memories are not stagnant and stuck in the past but evolve and operate in the present, shaping our decisions and outlook on life. The aim of this exhibition is to address the lingering impact of the Vietnam-American War (better known in the United States as the Vietnam War) through the perspective of Vietnamese artists.

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