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Ngoc-Tran Vu : Made Elsewhere

November 16, 2020 - December 13, 2020

Gallery Hours



Ngoc-Tran Vu (she/her) is a 1.5 Vietnamese-American interdisciplinary artist and organizer whose socially engaged work draws from her experience as a community organizer, educator, and healer. Tran moves between mediums and materials to work in photography, painting, sculpture and social practice so that her art can best resonate and engage with its audience intentionally. Her work evokes discourse of familial ties, memories and rituals amongst themes of social justice and intersectionality.

Born in Vietnam, Tran came to the United States with her family as political refugees and grew up in Boston’s Dorchester and South Boston working-class neighborhoods. She received her MA in Arts and Politics at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and her BA in Ethnic Studies and Visual Arts at Brown University. Tran works across borders and is based in Boston’s Dorchester community. www.tranvuarts.com

Artist Statement

I am a storyteller, facilitator and interpreter. My work evokes themes of familial ties, memories, and rituals amongst issues of social justice and intersectionality. As a first generation Vietnamese American, interdisciplinary artist whose socially engaged work draws from my background as an organizer, educator, and healer, I am passionate about creating spaces and platforms for cross-cultural storytelling and critical discourse that challenge inequity.

Born in Vietnam, I came to the United States with my family as political refugees and grew up in Dorchester and South Boston’s working-class neighborhoods. I thread my social practice through photography, painting, and sculpture so that my art can resonate and engage audiences with intentionality. My experiences as a person of color working with communities inside, outside and beyond the United States have informed my framing of realities, visions and possibilities. My deepest influences include my family and friends as well as fellow artists and changemakers from the past, present, and beyond.

Trained as a multimedia artist and community organizer, I am committed to working with grassroots groups, especially when it comes to sustainable engagement and generative programming. I am driven to co-create, support and protect the stories and experiences with communities of color, refugees and immigrants. Through active participation and holistic facilitation, I aim to offer new modes of resistance to interrogate and counteract the dominant narrative. I am particularly invested in the intersections of storytelling, cultures, and activism, spotlighting those who are willing to step out of bounds to advance social change. In my own healing journey, I am continuously exploring and unpacking themes of identity, justice, belonging and power.

Project Statement

Continuing her Made Elsewhere project, Tran Vu is constructing a new vision of the Statue of Liberty using recycled and found materials (made outside of the United States). The exhibition explores issues of migration and displacement—particularly of refugees and immigrants—through cultural exchange and storytelling, and it was developed through the artist’s active collaboration with local groups and organizations advocating for refugees and immigrants’ rights.