Sunday, January 24, 2010
If fashion is about identity, then what does it say about Vietnamese people? Well according to this article and the one written by professor Valverde, Vietnamese people are akin to people suffering split personality disorder, but are indeed the same person. Split in that you can view them as two separate people. One being Vietnamese, and the other Vietnamese American.
The news article by Jolie Xuan states that Vietnam's fashion industry is struggling. The "key reasons for the industry’s weaknesses is its designers". They lack modern training, and the training they do receive does not prepare them for creating products that will attract Vietnamese people. Furthermore, the article states that Vietnamese youths "prefer the foreign brands they see in high-end clothes shops" than the products created in Vietnam. So what this all says is that Vietnamese people lack their own identity, they would rather take on the identity of foreigners. So in this sense their identity is based around things not Vietnamese.
Now looking at Vietnamese Americans, we'll notice they have created their own identity, one that runs counter everything that they understand is Vietnam. Professor Valverde's article shows that anything remotely related to Vietnamese American's depiction of Vietnam is not acceptable. An example of this is their response towards Chau Hunynh's artwork, which shows their strong position against Vietnam. So strong that they saw her artwork as an insult to Vietnamese American. So then the identity of Vietnamese Americans is essentially anything not Vietnam.
So in an ironic twist, both Vietnamese people and Vietnamese American people end up being the same identity: one that is not Vietnam. Hence the image I chose above, I felt that the silhouette conveys how Vietnamese people sort of have an identity(they are everything but Vietnam) and yet not fully there. Similar to the picture, you can tell that it's a Vietnamese person because of the conical hat and the bike, but the full details aren't there. I hope that made sense.
Post # 4
picture from PhamTan's Flickr
Valverde, Kieu-Linh Caroline, 2008. "Creating Identity, Defining Culture, and Making History from an Art Exhibit: 'Unfinished Story: A Tribute to My Mothers'." Crossroads 19:2. Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Northen Illinois University.
Xuan, Jolie. "Vietnamese fashion victims?" Vietnamnation 13 Dec. 2008: n. pag. Vietnamnation. Web. 21 Jan. 2010. http://vietnamnation.vn/tintucshow.php?dmtin=0&tinid=130