The Diasporic Vietnamese Artists Network (DVAN) primary mission is to promote stories from the Vietnamese diaspora. We undertake to support this body of work through literary festivals, local readings, writing retreats, panel discussions, blogs, video and publications. Our goal is to increase understanding about the diversity and complexities of our experiences and imaginaries across national boundaries.
We also 1) support other forms of cultural expressions such as film and visual art, 2) extend ourselves to other ethnic groups with whom we share a history marked by colonialism or/and war, and 3) create programs catered to underprivileged youth.
We define the Vietnamese diaspora as communities of people of Vietnamese origin outside of Vietnam. We take on a diasporic perspective because many of our family members have been pushed out of Vietnam to many parts of the world and it makes sense for us to share stories and engage in dialogues.
DVAN began in 2007 due to the recognition that Vietnamese Americans were underrepresented compared to other Asian Americans in both the academia and popular culture. Until today, less than 50 books and short story collections by and about Vietnamese Americans have been published by nationally recognized publishers. Vietnamese American filmmakers and visual artists are similarly under-represented. Such selective publishing, film and art world practices prevent the society at large from understanding the complex experiences, history and culture of a growing community, as well as recognize the impact the community has had on society. Our vision is that, by coming together as a group across national boundaries, we can bring forth new ideas about identity and citizenship. Ultimately, we aim to be active agent of social change by encouraging self-determination and dialogues for the purpose of healing and full incorporation in the fabric of society.
Ink and Blood
Our initial core members used to be a part of a San Francisco-based organization called Ink and Blood (“Muc va Mau”), which was active from 1994 to 2000. The mission of that organization was to promote the works of Vietnamese American writers, poets and visual artists. DVAN is strongly inspired by Ink and Blood's mission and spirit.
Diasporic Vietnamese Artists Network (DVAN) is part of the incubator program at Intersection for the Arts, a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization.
ISABELLE THUY PELAUD (Executive Director, SF Vietnamese American Poetry Festival) is associate professor in Asian American Studies at San Francisco State University. She is the author of This Is All I Choose To Tell: History and Hybridity in Vietnamese American Literature (Temple University Press, 2011). Her essays and short stories have been published in Making More Waves(1997), Tilting the Continent (2000) and Vietnam Dialogue Inside/Out (2001). Her academic work can be found in Mixed Race Literature (2002), The New Face of Asian Pacific America (2003), Amerasia Journal (2003)(2005), Michigan Quarterly Review(2005) and the Journal of Asian American Studies (2012).
VIET THANH NGUYEN (President, Diacritics) is an associate professor of English and American Studies & Ethnicity at the University of Southern California, and the author of Race and Resistance: Literature and Politics in Asian America (Oxford University Press, 2002). He has received residencies or scholarships from the Fine Arts Work Center, the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. His short fiction has been published in Manoa, Orchid: A Literary Review, Best New American Voices 2007, A Stranger Among Us: Stories of Cross-Cultural Collision and Connection, Narrative, andGulf Coast, where his story won the 2007 Fiction Prize. In 2016, Viet won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction among five other awards for his debut novel The Sympathizer (Viet Nguyen’s website)
NGUYEN QUI DUC (Writing retreat) is an author and journalist with over 20 years of experience in the US, Europe and Asia. He was an artist in residence at Villa Montalvo in 1995. Duc was an Alexander Gerbode fellow in 2005 and received two grants from that foundation. He is now based in Ha Noi where he is pursuing various artistic projects, including an artist residency and a gallery with which DVAN is collaborating.
VIET LE is an artist, creative writer, and curator. Lê’s artwork has been exhibited at the Banff Centre, Alberta; DoBaeBacSa Gallery, Seoul; Sa Sa Gallery, Java Gallery, Phnom Penh; among other venues. His work has been featured in Amerasia Journal; Crab Orchard Review; Newsweek Asia; and the anthologies Strange Cargo; Blue Arc; Spaces Between Us; Love, West Hollywood; Writing from the Perfume River; among others. He has received fellowships from the Citivella Ranieri Foundation, Fine Arts Work Center and PEN Center USA. Lê obtained his MFA from UC Irvine, and is currently a doctoral candidate at University of Southern California. (Viet Lê’s website)
DAO STROM (Diacritics literary editor; co-founder, She Who Has No Masters) is a writer, musician, and image-text artist based in Portland, OR. Her work explores hybridity through melding disparate “voices”—written, sung, visual—to contemplate the intersection of personal and collective histories. She is the author of a novel, Grass Roof, Tin Roof, a book of linked novellas, The Gentle Order of Girls and Boys, and an experimental memoir, We Were Meant To Be A Gentle People, part of a hybrid-forms project accompanied by a music album, East/West. She is a 2016 recipient of a Creative Capital Artist Award in Literature and has received past awards from the Regional Arts & Culture Council, Oregon Arts Commission, National Endowment for the Arts, James Michener-Paul Engle Fellowship, and others. She is co-founder of She Who Has No Master(s), a collective of Vietnamese women writers of the diaspora, and serves as literary editor for Diacritics’ literary series, Out of the Margins. www.daostrom.com
AIMEE PHAN‘s first book, We Should Never Meet: Stories (St. Martin’s Press, 2004) has won the Association for Asian American Studies Book Award in Prose. It was also named a Notable Book by the Kiriyama Prize in fiction, as well as a finalist for the 2005 Asian American Literary Awards. Her fiction has appeared in Colorado Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, Chelsea, Prairie Schooner and Meridian. Her nonfiction has appeared in the New York Times, USA Today and the Oregonian. She has received a 2010 National Endowment of the Arts Fellowship, a Maytag Fellowship from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and a MacDowell Colony Residency. She currently chairs the Writing and Literature program at the California College of the Arts.
JULIE THI UNDERHILL is an artist, photographer, filmmaker, writer, and historian. Her poetry, essays, and oral histories have been published in Takin’ It to the Streets: A Sixties Reader (2004), Veterans of War, Veterans of Peace (2006), Embodying Asian/American Sexualities (2009), and New America Media (2010). She received a Rockefeller Fellowship from the William Joiner Center for the Study of War and Social Consequences (UMass- Boston, 2005-06). She received her MA in 2009 from UC Berkeley, where she is a Chancellor’s Fellow. She is currently a doctoral candidate in UCB’s department of ethnic studies, where she specializes in Cham studies, diasporic studies, Asian American film/video, Asian American history, and transnational feminisms.
MINH TSAI is a foodie, and founder of Hodo Soy Beanery, an artisanal tofu company in the Bay Area. Prior to starting Hodo, Minh spent 10 years in strategic consulting and investment banking working with fortune 500 companies. Minh graduated from Columbia with a BA in Asian Studies and Masters in Economic Development. Beside his passion for food, Minh enjoys writing, wines and friendships.
KHOI NGUYEN (Youth Program) is currently studying Cultural Studies at George Mason University. They received a MA in Women’s Studies with a concentration on queer Asian American literature at Southern Connecticut State University. Khoi taught creative writing to high school youth for the Asian American Writers’ Workshop, and started DVAN’s Youth Program. They lectured in Asian American Studies at San Francisco State University.
TRINH MAI is a California-based artist whose work ranges from her first love of oil on canvas to installations built from natural materials. In 2004, she graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Art from San Jose State University, furthered her studies at UCLA, and since then has continued exhibiting nationally, showing in public and private collections internationally. Her artwork is driven by the human experience, evoking personal, familial, and spiritual dialogues to create new narratives. Trinh is currently Master Teaching Artist for Orange County’s Bowers Museum, and sits on the Artist Advisory Board for The Artist Odyssey of Del Mar, CA. Since 2012, she has served as resident artist for UC Irvine’s Vietnamese American Oral History Project. Trinh is currently also working to help develop the visual arts within the Diasporic Vietnamese Artist Network.
ANGIE CHAU is the author of Quiet As They Come (IG Publishing,2010), which was a Finalist in First Fiction for The California Book Award and a Finalist in Fiction for the Northern California Independent Booksellers’ Award. She is the recipient of the Maurice Prize in Fiction and has been awarded an Anderson Center Residency, Hedgebrook Residency, Macondo Foundation Fellowship, and was the 2013 Walter Stiern Library PG&E Writer in Residence. Her work has appeared in Bomb Magazine, Indiana Review, Santa Clara Review, Night Train Magazine, and the 2012 Hey Day Books anthology, New California Writing, and other publications. She was born in Vietnam has lived a nomadic life moving to Italy, Spain, Malaysia, and Hawaii. She is a member of the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto where she is working on her latest novel. She currently calls the Bay Area home. Angie Chau's website (Quiet As They Come)
ANH BUI is an interdisciplinary artist and museum professional. As an artist, he sees art as a way to explore his personal experiences living between two cultures, and place his trans-cultural experiences within the surrounding sociopolitical and cultural context. As a curator, exhibition designer, and educator, Anh hopes to produce socially conscious, accessible, and engaging exhibitions to bridge the gap between art and the general public. He is currently pursuing a M.A in Museum Studies. He has exhibited at Intersection for the Arts, Root Division, and Incline Gallery. He has worked with at SF Camerawork, ASI Art Gallery, and Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, SFSU Global Museum as a curator, assistant curator, art preparator, and public program staff ( Anh Bui's webiste).