KV Duong (b.1980 Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam) is a London based multi-disciplinary artist. Duong explores themes of war migration and cultural assimilation through a re-examination of his parents’ experience of the Vietnam war and his own experience of growing up in Canada in a minority immigrant family.
In his paintings, Duong blends layers of paint with historic images of the Vietnam war. The original source images are corrupted using paint and physical mark making techniques – ripping, scratching, erasing – to disrupt the photograph’s original representation. The ruptured surface of the work responds to the conflict. The sense of movement in the painting responds to his migration journey. The final work functions like a palimpsest where a new narrative is created while the work’s history is revealed through its scars.
This work depicts the significance of the moment the Americans left Vietnamese soil. At 10:51 on 29 April 1975, the order was given by the USA to evacuate all American personnel and South Vietnamese diplomats within 24 hours. This iconic scene of people climbing atop the government building to catch one of the last helicopters out of Saigon not only symbolized the end of the war, but also signified the beginning of the Vietnamese diaspora for the next two decades to come.
Duong is a self-taught artist with a background in structural engineering. He has been a part of several open competitions including Derwent Art Prize, Discerning Eye, Royal Cambrian Academy Open and BBC’s Royal Academy Summer Exhibition Programme.
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