The story of a refugee
Vietnamese Contemporary Artist
In a world shaped by conflict and cultural divide, a young girl born to a Chinese father and Vietnamese mother is caught up in the middle of all this mayhem, observing the changing world around her.
Hong Dam’s work is a journey of self discovery rooted in her extraordinary childhood experiences as an eight year old ‘Vietnamese Boat Refugee’. Hong’s exploration of displacement through art has come after a career as a digital artist in film. Her emotive, dream-like images has been exhibited galleries and museums such as Turner Contemporary and British Museum.
Conceptual, symbolic, narrative, surreal, fascinating, haunting, thought provoking, beautiful, moving, environmental, as if the images are speaking to you, capturing the duality of the world.
“I want to find out what makes me who I am?’ And Where do I come from?”
In a world shaped by conflict and culture divide, a young girl is being caught up in the middle of all this mayhem, observing the changing world around her.
“Hong Dam was among the millions of Vietnamese people who fled the country by boat in the aftermath of the Vietnam War. Although born in Vietnam, Dam’s father was of Chinese origin and lived within a large Chinese Cantonese-speaking community. When, in 1979, Chinese troops crossed Vietnam’s northern border and clashed with Vietnamese troops, life became very difficult for the local Chinese population. As employment was withdrawn they were left with no choice but to flee or starve.” Journalist Nione Meakin
“My art work is based on the themes of displacement, sense of not belonging, separation, loss, hope – promise of a better life, and childhood memories of a distant time and place. But I have not allow to call myself an artist until now, I feel as a refugee you need money and art doesn’t earn money unless you’re very successful.” – Hong Dam
“I bought dreaming of home because it is where we all go in our dreams. The picture is very real, it is a reality. I liked the transition of colours, the different steps of life. The painting has spoken to me.”