finding and pambana

[re]claiming revolutionary musings

Posts tagged radical people of color

2 notes

What: love bang! is a sexperimental art music video for an original trilingual hip popsong (Vietnamese, Khmer and English). “Hip pop” is a fictitious cross between pop and hip hop. The disjunctured video features a queer, star-crossed, time-traveling war-time love triangle. Sounds complicated? Love is!

Love bang! is the first installment of a  video/ photographic trilogy executed and exhibited in Ho Chi Minh City, Phnom Penh, and Los Angeles. These three global cities are contradictory characters, metaphors, and mirrors for the lovers. The project addresses the intersections of trauma, memory and modernity. The new songs pay tongue-in-cheek homage to Vietnamese and Cambodian tunes as well as Western pop songs, which are ever-present on the streets of the two countries.

Musical backdrop: During the Viet Nam War, nhac vang or “golden music”—love ballads about loss was banned by the Vietnamese government for its potentially subversive content. The 1960s and 70s was dubbed as a “golden era” of Cambodian rock; many of its stars disappeared during the Khmer Rouge genocide. Today, the explosion of pan-Asian youth culture and pop music obscures traces of the recent past in both countries. In contemporary Viet Nam, Japan, China, Cambodia, and Korea (among other Asian countries), there has been an emergence of popular cultural production (music, films, soap operas) questions the boundaries of community, identity and identification. How are national and consumer desires linked? The rise of bull markets may presage the rise of pop markets, including J-Pop, V-Pop, and hallyu (Japanese pop, Vietnamese pop, and Korean Wave respectively).

Why: Themusic videos examine the legacies of historical trauma, collective memory, and the rapid modernization in Cambodia and Viet Nam through a catchy pop veneer. Cambodia and Viet Nam are two societies in transition, linked historically and regionally through traumatic events and cultural and economic interactions. Cambodia and Viet Nam’s economic development has resulted in a dramatically shifting social and political climate. Viet Nam’s rapid economic growth—launched by the socialist government’s 1986 open door doi moi policy (shifting from communism to a socialist-capitalist political economy) — has resulted in vast changes. Cambodia has also followed a similar trajectory of rapid development. My project deals with the tensions and contradictions these rapid changes bring about. Through this project, I hope to continue to engage in dialogue with local and international communities about representation, popular culture and the traumas of history and modernity through exhibitions, performances and talks.

-Việt Lê

(pambana: and western pop in this case being Black cultural production :) and this giving me life because of reasons. asian queering space time, futuristic traditions, people of color in the future, transgender musical productions, genderqueering, colorful sparkles, twerk, phallic glittery things, pat your weave, etc)

Filed under love bang viet le cambodia viet nam queer asian diaspora qpoc trans* queer futurism vietnamese khmer english radical people of color afro asian pop sexperimental time-travel j-pop v-pop hallyu pop music transnational music