Of Borders and Burdens of (Un)Belonging: Contemporary Cambodian-American Art and Identity
Does Donald Trump’s victory mark “the end of identity liberalism” and signify a return to “American liberalism”? Boreth Ly’s lecture examines the emerging and fragile field of contemporary Cambodian-American art and situates the assemblage of Cambodian-American artists and their art as objects of knowledge and identity politics within the uncertain, rapidly shifting current political climate in the United States.
Ly is Associate Professor of Southeast Asian Art History and Visual Culture at UC, Santa Cruz. He co-edited Modern and Contemporary Art of Southeast Asia (2012) with Nora Taylor. He has published numerous articles on the arts of Southeast Asia and its diaspora. His forthcoming book, Traces of Trauma: Cambodian Visual Culture and National Identity in the Aftermath of Genocide (University of Hawaii Press, 2018), looks closely at how nation and identity have been shaped and articulated within the works and ideologies of contemporary Cambodian artists at home and in the diaspora in response to the traumas of the Khmer Rouge genocide.
Pete Pin, Cambodian Diaspora series, 2013. Print photograph 6.59 x 10 inches.