Exhibit honors Faces of Vietnam

Published 5:00 pm Tuesday, November 10, 2020

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“Faces of Vietnam” is open at the International Arts Center on the campus of Troy University.

The exhibition is a collection curated by Stephen Humphreys, an attorney based in Athens, Georgia.

Humphreys’ travels though Vietnam allowed him to collect Vietnamese artwork primarily from the Reform era of the 1990s when Vietnam was struggling to reconstruct after decades of war.

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Carrie Jaxon, International Arts Center curator, said the IAC offers visitors different arts opportunities that often include history and historical happenings

“‘Faces of Vietnam’ is an opportunity for visitors to the IAC to step into another culture that is uniquely Vietnamese,” Jaxon said. “This artwork is from the collection of Stephen Humphreys, who worked in Washington D.C. in the 1980s and 1990s and had opportunities to travel to countries including Cuba and Vietnam. He collected Cuban art as well as Vietnamese art.”

Humphreys said that the Vietnamese believe the face tells everything about the life and character of the person. The Vietnamese don’t pay much attention to what a person says but they look at what a person does and how a person looks. And, it’s the same, Humphreys said, for the hands. Face and hands tell all.

Jaxon said, when the Vietnamese government released the oppression of its people, the reform movement gave rise to the opportunity for artists to express their reflections of their past and their hopes for the future. Through their work, the faces and hands do, tell it all.

The artwork is unique in the ways that some artists take more of a traditional approach to their artwork while others lean more toward the modern, Jaxon said. “‘Faces of Vietnam’ is an opportunity for visitors to step into another culture through the application of art forms,” Jaxon said. “It is an opportunity to be transported to another place in which to experience the unique applications of art forms.

Featured in “Faces of Vietnam” are traditional Vietnamese woodblock prints, gouache on Do paper and mosquito netting and lacquer works inlaid with eggshell, sand and even human hair, together providing the experience of uniquely Vietnamese art forms.

Themes of “Faces of Vietnam” range from the minority tribeswomen of the remote highland to the scene of the bombing of the Long Bien Bridge across the Red River to Hanoi.

“Faces of Vietnam: The Contemporary Works from the Collection of Stephen Humphreys” is open until January 24, 2021.  The IAC normal operating hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. and Sunday 1 until 4 p.m. The IAC will be closed Veterans Day, November 11 and for Thanksgiving Break, Nov. 26-29 and Winter Break, Dec. 18- Jan.3.

Admission is free.