Vănguard Retrospective Exhibition Opens Today At Dorchester Art Project

Hard work has been put in by Khanh Aiden Nguyễn and Thanh Nu Mai over the past few weeks and because of this, word has spread through Dorchester. Beginning today, April 26th, the Vănguard Retrospective Exhibition is now open to the public at Dorchester Art Project.

From today until May 19th of this year, the exhibit will be held in the larger studio at DAP (Dorchester Art Project). The weeks setting this all up are just a small piece of the 5 years put into this project. Here a beautiful array of breath taking visual art will be shown every Saturday and Sunday from 12-6PM, along with performance art from 6-9pm tonight by Yune Neptune and Ah Moonz. The exhibit is a celebration of 5 years of transnational activism, featuring global LGBTQ art work. The work is individual, and shares each artist’s personal identity, but within the work and the way it is put together at DAP carries the theme of community (specifically the growing Vietnamese LGBTQ Community).

photo by, Olivia Deng

The exhibit doubles as the release for Vănguard 5, the newest in the collection of an underground literary and visual zine inspired by the LGBTQ community and created by Khanh Aiden Nguyễn and Thanh Nu Mai. This zine will feature 25 new artists this time around. “Zines have always had an underground feel, punk and freedom.” Says Mai to The Dig about their zine and their exhibit at DAP. The two explain how zines were a cost-effective method of bringing out their message on a broad scale without diluting what it meant to them. Used during their trip to Vietnam and inspired by their time in the New York zine scene, Vănguard has been used as a way to assemble the Vietnamese LGBTQ community in Vietnam and now, here in Boston. Aiden Nguyễn grew up in Dorchester and explains how hard it was to find a community of people like him. With his friend Mai and years and years of collective hard work, the two work together to build this community themselves and continue to help it grow to this day.

This revolution has been building since 2014 and has shaken the underground scene of Vietnam. The location Vănguard was chosen for the name because it is the hub of this LGBTQ revolution. The exhibition will showcase art from Vietnam, Europe, the United States and Australia. What better place in Boston for this to debut than Dorchester, holding one the largest Vietnamese communities on the East Coast and a thriving art scene, as well?

Dorchester Art Project is known for its support of local, underground, and marginalized artists. Musicians from Margery Kempe to Sneaks are all given a spotlight here along with many other artists in mediums of music, poetry, performance, visual art and the millions of other platforms that are found in the Boston area.

This showcase is a great follow up to the reports of Serj Tankian’s new documentary on his life, activism and relation to the Armenian Genocide (the anniversary being just yesterday), with a strong build up of activism-through-art so far this year. And from the hum in Boston already, the Vănguard Retrospective Exhibition is set to make an impact and hopefully further grow and strengthen the Vietnamese LGBTQ community. The visuals surrounding you as you step into the studio give you a global feeling. While you are in Dorchester, Massachusetts, art made all over the world is present and connecting you to Europe, Australia, other parts of the United States and Vietnam. If you have a chance, check out this stunning display of art and activism, beautifully combined through experience and emotion. See below for full details.



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