Los Angeles-based Vietnamese-American artist Tran T. Kim-Trang will discuss her work Thursday, March in an informal and intimate artist’s talk via Zoom, “Artist Gallery Talk: Tran, T. Kim-Trang,” hosted by the USC Pacific Asia Museum (USC PAM) in Pasadena.
The conversation will focus on the artist’s three-channel video installation, “Movements: Battles and Solidarity,” which debuted in 2020.
“Movements…” fuses three seemingly disparate events during the early 1970s in high fashion, the garment industry, and the Vietnam War by exploring the shared socio political and physical “movements.”
In April 2020, “Movements” was on exhibit at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery (LAMAG) before moving to USC PAM last July and August.
“The project covers the years 1972–74 and started with my focus on the 1973 fashion show that came to be known as ‘The Battle of Versailles,’ as discussed in Robin Givhan’s book of the same name,” Tran talks about the installation last year. “What drew me to this moment in fashion was its mix of race and class issues. Organized as a fundraiser to restore the Palace of Versailles, the show paired five American fashion designers with five French luminaries. By all accounts, the Americans won with their brief show’s disco-infused energy, race-conscious models, and ready-to-wear lines, and it forever changed American fashion.”
Tran, T. Kim-Trang was born in Vietnam and emigrated to the U.S. in 1975. She received her MFA from the California Institute of the Arts and has been producing experimental videos since the early 1990s. Her work has been exhibited internationally in solo and group screenings in venues such as the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Biennial, and the Robert Flaherty Film Seminar.
Her “Blindness” series, eight experimental video shorts investigating blindness and its metaphors, was completed in 2006.
Tran is the recipient of numerous grants and awards, including a Creative Capital grant, a Getty Mid-Career Fellowship, and a Rockefeller Film/Video/Multimedia Fellowship, which has enabled her to develop a screenplay based on the life of her mother titled “Call Me Sugar,” which she hopes to direct as a feature film project.
In 2010, Tran exhibited a three-channel video installation titled “Landless in Second Life,” where she created an Afterlife for her mother as a way to explore notions of immigrants and immigration in the online, virtual world Second Life. In 2016 she produced a born-digital book of critical essays on The Blindness Series and completed a casual game titled “Arizona 9” about a girl’s murder that led to the demise of the border-watch movement.
Tran’s talk on Thursday is presented by USC PAM and the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy. Attendance is free but registration is required.
To get tickets, visit https://tinyurl.com/oz1hfws0.
For more information, call (626) 449-2742 or visit www.pacificasiamuseum.usc.edu.
The program begins at 4 p.m.