International Arts Center celebrates Vietnamese culture in new exhibit

The collection features work from Vietnamese artists collected by Stephen Humphreys.

The collection features work from Vietnamese artists collected by Stephen Humphreys.

“Faces of Vietnam,” a collection curated by Stephen Humphreys, an attorney based in Athens, Georgia, is now on display in Troy University’s International Arts Center.

The collection of contemporary works features traditional Vietnamese woodblock prints, gouache on Do paper and mosquito netting, and lacquer works inlaid with eggshell, sand, even human hair, all of which provides the experience of uniquely Vietnamese art forms.

Humphreys’ travels through Vietnam during the ‘90s allowed him to accumulate an array of artwork. The artwork collection later emerged as Vietnam was struggling to reconstruct after decades of war.

Themes in the collection range from the minority tribeswomen of the remote highlands, to the scene of the bombing of the Long Bien Bridge across the Red River to Hanoi.

Featured artists incorporate the traditional, while pushing the limits with a modern stroke, all while paying respect to their rich historical and cultural background.

“The Vietnamese believe that the face tells everything about the life and character of the person. They do not pay much attention to what you say but, rather, look at what you do and how you look,” said Humphreys.

According to Carrie Jaxon, curator at the International Arts Center, the exhibition offers an opportunity to connect art to other areas of study, including art history, history, political science and international relations.

“At the IAC, we strive to find ways of connecting art to our diverse student population, as well as to our visitors of all different backgrounds,” Jaxon said. “This exhibition offers an engaging visual representation of the Vietnamese culture following decades of war and suffering. The featured artists incorporate many traditional elements of Vietnamese art but also offer new modern perspectives, driven by personal and political influences.”

The exhibition will remain open at the center until Jan. 24and is free to the public.

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