Thursday, March 20, 2014

Blog # 2 - Bryan

Bryan Bui
Blog # 2

This week was not that challenging at all because I was very busy with club activities as well as midterms and papers. I had very little free time and most of the time I did I used to relax doing other things like watching YouTube videos or playing games. I also work around fifteen hours every week which gives me a decent income that I could use for clothes or shoes but I usually use most of it for food. One thing that has made it harder is my girlfriend came up this week to visit. I wasn't really sure of how it works if I bought stuff for her but I just assumed that if I did it would break to rules (also a good excuse to not have to buy her anything). Whenever shes up she wants to go shopping, even if she doesn't get anything. I don't mind at all but I generally don't like to go shopping because something always catches my eye and then I have to fight the urge. Luckily I had this challenge to make it easier for me to hold back.

In Creating Identity, "Defining Culture, and Making History from an Art Exhibit: An Unfinished Story: A Tribute to my Mothers’" Valverde talks about Chau Huynh's work and how it springs controversy within the Vietnamese diaspora.

Her pedicure basin was painted yellow with three red stripes in the interior to resemble the Republic of Vietnam's flag with yellow power chords plugged into a red outlet. Her quilt was a mixture of both the Republic of Vietnam and Socialist Republic of Vietnam flags. The basin struck controversy basically because it made the Vietnamese diaspora look demeaning and the plug added a hint of communism because it was attached to a red outlet. The flag probably sprung even more controversy because it literally combined the communist flag with the south's flag. In Valverde's interview with Huynh, it is clear that Huynh meant both to be a tribute. The basin as a tribute to the diaspora working hard but still sending money to family back in Vietnam and the quilt representing her husband (a Viet Kieu) and her (from Vietnam) being married despite being different. To me it just shows how the anti-communist views of the Vietnamese diaspora still have a strong hold on the community and it halts progression.

This makes me think of the Brian Lichtenberg brand that basically takes the premise of other brands but he just tweaks it a little by changing a few words or adding his name. I am not adept in the laws of copyright but it seems a little too easy for him to do this, especially when his clothes have the same font. Despite what I think, his brand still excels and it does not seem like it has much opposition from the higher brands he mimics. The high brand names could probably do something about Lichtenberg but I suppose they don't see him as much a threat. The high brands still do very well even with Lichtenberg doing what he's doing. He is basically creating a new area of fashion because his brand is almost like the higher brands but is more affordable.

Both these examples, though very different, just show how two different communities can react to something that could or could not be an issue. To me Huynh's work is awesome, particularly her quilt, and she is trying to create a bridge between the diaspora and home country but the community won' have it. Brian Lichtenberg created a bridge allowing regular people a more affordable option to items that resemble higher fashion and the higher brands are stopping him allowing this new fashion to grow.

Inside source: Kieu-Linh Valverde. “Creating Identity, Defining Culture, and Making History from an Art Exhibit: An Unfinished Story: A Tribute to my Mothers’.” Reader

Outside source: "Brian Lichtenberg Talks About the HOMIES Collection and His Thoughts On Streetwear" <>

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