For the first time since the end of the Second Indochina War, works on the war and its aftermath by both Vietnamese and American artists have been brought together in an exhibition that will travel in both countries. As Seen by Both Sides, which takes its name from the exhibition, is both a catalogue and explication of this deeply moving collection of art.
Included are works by twenty Vietnamese and twenty American artists, most of whom are veterans of the war and all of whom testify to the irrevocable impact of that experience on their work. The images these men and women have created range from searing depictions of the realities of war to quiet sketches of those caught in its turmoil.
The Vietnamese pieces have never been exhibited in the United States. Many were created in the field by soldiers who have used whatever materials were at hand and who carried their work around with them for years. This catalog may be the best record we will ever have of this exceptional collection.
In addition to reproduction of the works—68 in color and 14 in black and white—As Seen by Both Sides offers interpretive essays by American and Vietnamese scholars and critics, who explore the social, political, and aesthetic contexts of the work. This book also includes a photograph of and interview with each artist.