On May 4, 1970, four students protesting the American War in Vietnam were shot and killed by members of the Ohio National Guard. Almost 50 years later the repercussions of this event are still felt in the lives of Americans and Vietnamese, both in the stories each culture tells about the war and the current climate of political protest around the world. Vietnamese artist Trần Minh Đức and Richard Vine, Managing Editor of Art in America, discussed their research and experience relating to the Kent State Shooting in 1970. Specifically, Tran presented how his research of the shooting and the larger American protests to the Vietnam War had shaped his work as an artist, and Vine, who was a student at Kent State during the shootings, shared his experiences and reactions as a witness to the event. The two also discussed the larger implications of the shooting and its significance for younger generations today.
Trần Minh Đức is drawn to the history of place, how images of the past inspire human action in their appropriated, fragmented and intangible forms such as oral histories, religious calendars, postcards, found material/ objects and much more. Trần ’s work specifically examines the character of urban life in Vietnam, studying the interaction between collective and individual, between ideas of what is local and foreign. His art encompasses performance, photography, collage, video and installation. He has participated in numerous artist-in-residency programs in Tokyo and Nagasaki Japan, Paris France, NYC USA and Myanmar. He currently lives and works in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Richard Vine, managing editor of Art in America magazine, is the author of some 300 articles, reviews, and interviews. His books include New China, New Art, which surveys the emergence of avant-garde art in China from 1976 to 2010, and SoHo Sins, a murder mystery set in the New York artworld of the 1990s. Vine was an active participant in the May 4, 1970, antiwar demonstration at Kent State University, which left nine students wounded and four dead at the hands of the Ohio National Guard. He will present an historical framework, photographs, and personal recollections of the event.
This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council.