Over the past four decades, since the end of the Vietnam War, more than one million Vietnamese citizens have reestablished themselves and their families in the United States, and one of the largest enclaves of immigrants has settled in Southern California. In the heart of Southern California lies the most iconic Vietnamese American community, known as Little Saigon, in the city of Westminster. When you visit the main street in Little Saigon, you’ll find numerous colorful shops selling specialty goods from Asia, comforting aromas of traditional Vietnamese dishes, and most importantly a flourishing Vietnamese American community.
Despite being one of the most recent ethnic groups to immigrate to the U.S., we have worked hard to rebuild our lives. Within the past 40 years, we have made profound contributions in the U.S., in areas such as the arts, politics, science, education, engineering, business, media, film, culinary, literature and many other trades and professions. Vietnamese Americans have succeeded and become leaders in many fields and have shown that we are a people of passion, pride, unwavering courage and determination.
While we have worked and succeeded we have also nurtured one generation after the next to be rooted in tradition while searching out their own paths for success. Each generation has struggled with acculturation and identity here in America but Vietnamese-Americans and Americans of Vietnamese decent continue to define themselves anew. Each generation revealing a transformative energy and determination, investing in their lives, valuing their history and contributing to their ever changing and growing communities. As second and third generations become our representatives in American society, cultural hubs, such as Little Saigon, will play an increasingly important role in continuing our traditions and values.
As our community approaches the 40th Anniversary of the Vietnamese Immigration to the United States, the Vietnamese American Cultural Alliance is leading Courage to Rebuild, a site-specific public art sculpture project in honor of the accomplishments of the past forty years, where all generation contribute and aspire to finding balance between past traditions and histories and a future formed by personal vision and determination. Asian Garden Mall (aka Phước-Lộc-Thọ), which is a central gathering space of Little Saigon, has generously donated the location to feature the Courage to Rebuild public art sculpture.
An international call to artists and jurying process over the next five months will reveal the final public art selection. The Courage to Rebuild sculpture plans and models will be unveiled and sculpture fabrication will begin in May 2015. The final sculpture will be installed in a prominent location for all to appreciate at Asian Garden Mall by May 2016. Community members, business owners, educators and civic leaders are joining together in remembrance and celebration of our resilience, tradition and success. Courage to Rebuild will be a landmark that celebrated our past, our present and the future of all Vietnamese-Americans. The Courage to Rebuild place and sculpture will serve as a gathering space where we can all reflect on the impact our stories and lives have had and will continue to have on this community and beyond. For the millions of visitors who come to Little Saigon each year, they will find greater understanding in the historic achievements that occurred after the Vietnam War. They will also experience a community that continues, one generation after the next to rebuild, educate, inspire and prosper.
Join us in this historic moment as we honor our past and celebrate our future.
Images presented show a general map of the area selected for this site specific sculpture. Areas designated in red and green outline the 950 square feet of space allotted to the artists design. A 14 foot high maximum for the piece is preferred. A seating area and handicap accessibility should be considered. The artists should consider a sculpture that will engage all ages.
Images of Asian Garden Mall (Phước-Lộc-Thọ) are presented to give artists an idea about the environment which surrounds the sculpture location. There are several existing sculptures in close proximity to the Mall. These sculpture include a bronze dolphin fountain, traditional white marble and stone sculptures. There is also a performance area with stage and seating area for the public to gather.
Site visits are welcome and special tours are available to artists interested in submitting for consideration. To request a site visit, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photographs by Eric Stoner
Release of Call to Artists
Artists submission deadline confirmed as February 28, 2015
Submissions received from artists
Review process takes place
Final five artists are selected to create full RFP
Final RFPs received
Review and selections process takes place with committee members
Artist awarded commission to produce Courage to Rebuild sculpture
Final production and engineering through installation
Courage to Rebuild public celebration and unveiling
Please apply through CallforEntry.org (CaFE) only. Application details and art specifications can be found on the Courage to Rebuild posting here. This service is free to use, but you will be required to set up an account if you do not already have one.
Contact Andrea Harris-McGee for questions regarding submission and or project information at (714)-812-6678 or email@example.com.
All submissions were juried in March. Finalists were selected at the end of March and were notified during the first week of April.
On May 23-24, 2015 (Memorial Day weekend), the public was given the opportunity to view and vote on the finalists' proposals at Asian Garden Mall. The public votes will be counted as one vote in the final Selection Committee decision.
In June 2015, the Selection Committee, with one vote from the public, selected the winner of the 4 finalists. All of the finalists' proposals were impressive, and it was a very difficult decision. The Selection Committee felt that James Dinh's proposal was best suited for the Courage to Rebuild project. The public vote also leaned heavily towards James' proposal.