ARKO Art Center, Seoul, Korea. December 18, 2007-February 29, 2008.
Galerie Quynh & Sàn Art Independent Art Space, Sài Gòn, Việt Nam.
August 7-30, 2008.
University of California, Irvine University Art Gallery, Irvine, CA, USA.
October 2-November 8, 2008.
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA, USA.
December 5, 2008-March 15, 2008.
Sàn Art Independent Art Space, Sài Gòn, Việt Nam.
installation view, University Art Gallery at the University of California, Irvine
<< transPOP: Korea Vietnam Remix

October 2007-March 2009

ARKO Art Center, Seoul Korea; Galerie Quynh and Sàn Art Independent Art Space, Sài Gòn, Việt Nam; University of California, Irvine University Art Gallery, Irvine, CA, USA; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA, USA.

Internationally traveling group exhibition exploring pop culture and historical intersections between Korea and Việt Nam and its diasporas, featuring international collaborations. Full color catalog with critical essays available. Related programming includes panels, artist’s talks, screenings at each venue.

Curatorial statement

transPOP: Korea Vietnam Remix introduces a dynamic mix of sixteen critically acclaimed artists from Korea, Việt Nam, and the United States, signaling an unprecedented engagement with the rich historic and contemporary linkages between Korea and Việt Nam. The featured artworks explore interconnections between the two countries, including the intersections of history, trauma, and contemporary popular culture. The interactions between Việt Nam and Korea span centuries but the exhibition focus lies in their shared history of highly accelerated modernization process with militarized roots and the Cold War. During the American War in Việt Nam, the Republic of Korea was the second largest foreign military and economic presence in Việt Nam, behind the United States, with over 300,000 combat forces and approximately 24,000 skilled workers in exchange for substantial U.S. aid. The financial boon from the involvement in the war played a catalytic role in the development of Korea, laying the foundation for what is now the world’s 12th largest economy. The legacy of the Cold Wars is evident in the large Korean and Vietnamese diasporic communities in the U.S. In Việt Nam, this accelerated modernity is evident in the breakneck speed of current economic development, as well as its entry into the World Trade Organization.

Since the late nineties, Việt Nam and Korea has witnessed a significant development of popular culture, fostering greater cultural proximity locally and abroad. A global phenomenon known as the “Korean Wave,” has popularized Korean television dramas, pop stars, music, films, and fashion through East, Southeast Asia and beyond since the new millennium. As part of a growing inter-Asian flow of pop culture, the Korean Wave has also been influential in Việt Nam, spurring numerous joint efforts between the two countries. “V-Pop” and “Viet Wave,” or Vietnamese pop music and film, has created an explosion of pop stars and media products in Việt Nam and overseas. These popular representations of the negotiations between modernity and tradition, in addition to burgeoning consumer culture, suggest new subjectivities. The triangulated relationship between Korea, Việt Nam and the U.S. forged through war in Việt Nam is also manifest in the increased cross-pollination of cultural influence and exchange.

Curated by Việt Lê and Yong Soon Min

Artists include: BAE Young Whan / Min Hwai CHOI Chul-Hwan / Tiffany CHUNG / Sowon KWON / Lin + Lam (Lana LIN + H. Lan Thao LAM) / An-My LÊ / Ðỉnh Q. LÊ / LEE Yong baek / Sandrine LLOUQUET / TRẦN Lương / LY Hoàng Ly / NGUYỄN Mạnh Hùng / OH Yongseok / Area PARK / Soon-Mi Yoo

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA, USA.
ARKO Art Center, Seoul, Korea.