8 February 2024 - 8 July 2024
Artist(s): Mich Duong
Location: Niddrie Library
This exhibition explores the tension and interplay between queer identity and cultural norms through five photographic portraits. Each portrait features 'taboo' makeup and traditional attire, representing the embodiment of cultural pride and queerness in the lives of young second-generation migrants.
When illuminated by a phone flashlight, the portraits reveal hidden engravings of words taken from the subjects' real-life experiences. The words draw on the sitter’s dual Sri Lankan, Vietnamese, Sudanese, and Samoan cultural and genderqueer identities. The series invite viewers to contemplate the limits and boundaries of identity in the pursuit of personal truth and self-expression.
Mich Duong is an emerging Vietnamese artist from Naarm, practicing on the unceded land of the Wurundjeri and Boon Wurrung people of the Kulin nation. His practice centres on topics of intersectionality, identity, and inherited Asian traumas. Through employing art as a form of both appreciation and healing, Mich commonly explores multi-generational immigrant mental health and critiques oppressive systems that contribute to this ongoing crisis. His art is often presented in a deeply personal and diarist format. In future research, he hopes to continue amplifying unheard voices of the Southeast Asian community, in order to help neutralise the imbalance in Western misconceptions and lack of understanding.