Oakland Asian Cultural Center Presents: Talk to Me: Personal Conversations with Local Vietnamese American Artists

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Oakland, CA—Join East Bay Vietnamese American artists, writer Ly Nguyen and filmmaker Tony Nguyen, as they share their personal journeys of creating art from their family stories. This event will be a book launch for Ly Nguyen’s novella, Same Same, an intimate tale of a nail salon worker in San Francisco inspired by the author’s mother’s life. Ly’s mother worked in the nail salon industry in California for 25 years. Tony Nguyen will preview footage from his work-in-progress short film, Giap and The Last Ironing Board Factory, a documentary about his mother who worked in the factory for 35 years.

“Tony and I have worked together on larger community projects in the past,” says Ly Nguyen. “But I never imagined both of us producing work that pulls so heavily from our mothers’ lives.”

When:   Sunday, October 28, 2012 from 2:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. PDT

Where:   Oakland Asian Cultural Center

388 Ninth Street, Suite 290, Oakland, CA

Cost:   Free and open to the public. Wheelchair accessible.

Artist Danny Thanh Nguyen will host a lively, intimate look at the work of Ly Nguyen and Tony Nguyen. They will discuss their separate, but related journeys through family history as a writer and a filmmaker. Also, they will share more about the process of creating art from family stories, funding art through crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter.com and self-publishing/producing art at a time when the tools are within reach and when institutional support is limited. Questions and dialogue from the audience will be welcome. Copies of Same Same will be available for purchase at the event.

Ly Nguyen, Writer

Ly is creative writer who is inspired by cultural superstitions and immigrant stories.  Her work has been published in the San Francisco Chronicle, Chocolate for a Women’s Soul, Nha Magazine, and As Is, a collection of Vietnamese American Literary and Visual Art. Ly is an alumnae of several writing residencies nationwide, and has received awards from both the Puffin Foundation and City of Oakland Cultural Arts Grant. Same Same is her first published novella. Learn more about Same Same at: http://lynguyen.authorsxpress.com/

Tony Nguyen, Filmmaker

Tony is passionate about making films that explore the stories of unsung heroes in our everyday world. His debut film, Enforcing the Silence, about the first political assassination in the Vietnamese American community has screened in festivals, universities, and community venues around the country. The LA Times writes: “While painting an uplifting portrait of Duong, the documentary attempts to address the mystery behind his killing.” He is currently in post-production on Giap and The Last Ironing Board Factory (see trailer here: http://vimeo.com/39810443 ), a quirky, modern tale about the mother-son relationship and the last standing ironing-board factory in America.


Oakland Asian Cultural Center

The Oakland Asian Cultural Center (OACC) builds vibrant communities through Asian and Pacific Islander American (APIA) arts and culture programs that foster intergenerational and cross-cultural dialogue, cultural identity, collaborations, and social justice. OACC was founded in 1984 by a coalition of community activists who recognized the need for a strong artistic and cultural force in the Chinatown area. Since opening its own facility in 1996 in the heart of Oakland’s Chinatown district, OACC has presented countless high-quality cultural programs.


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