Museum of Contemporary Vietnamese America (M.O.C.V.A.), 2019

Mixed media installation, performance, and photo/document archive.

Press Release


The Museum of Contemporary Vietnamese America

65 March St., Suite #8

Washington, D.C. 550000

The Museum of Contemporary Vietnamese America (MOCVA), an independent non-profit museum dedicated to preserving and documenting the lives, cultures, and politics of Vietnamese people living in the US after the end of the Vietnam War and into present-day, has just announced that it is organizing a small exhibition celebrating the largely unknown Vietnamese-American comic artist Nguyễn Tị Nạn (b. 1954 in Điện Biên Phủ, Việt Nam).


The exhibition, titled Make War, Not Love will feature original illustrations, as well as personal objects (from Nguyễn’s life and upbringing) that informed Nguyễn’s practice as an illustrator and aspiring comic artist. From highly lurid yet symbolic comic book-esque illustrations to the furniture and toys that Nguyễn owned and interacted with regularly, this show documents the progression of Nguyễn’s art practice as it coincides with the events of the Vietnam War.


This exhibition marks the first time in history that the museum will be showing the work of a Vietnamese artist who is also an open member of the LGBT community, but it also marks the official closing of the museum.* Make War, Not Love may be the last exhibition at MOCVA, but it continues to support MOCVA’s mission in shedding light on all margins of the Vietnamese American community.


The exhibition will be on view for a single day--April 7, 1997--the same day that the museum is closing. All of the work and artifacts on display will be for sale during an auction planned for the next day following a walkthrough with the curator of the show, Ti Nan Nguyễn. 


*While the museum may be closing its doors to the public, its founder and chief curator, Ti Nan Nguyễn (b. 1975 in Sài Gòn, Việt Nam), has chosen not to claim the status of a permanent shuttering, in hopes that enough funding can be obtained in the coming months for a re-opening. There is currently no expected date that the museum is set to re-open.


For further inquiries, please contact the museum directly.








Installation shots










Photo documentation of the performance aspect of the project:

Opening reception of MOCVA's Make War, Not Love and walkthrough with "curator Ti Nan Nguyễn." Special thanks to Christine Cho, Tommy Maing, Dashaun Sutton-Harris, Jessica Kazuko Kim, and Victoria Xu. 


Photos taken by Christine Cho, Tommy Maing, and Tinan Nguyen, and digitally edited by Tinan Nguyen to reflect the 1997 setting of the installation and performance.

Make War, Not Love continues to live on in the form of a manila folder, MOCVA's archive on Nguyễn Tị Nạn's solo exhibition.


The folder's contents include documents from the Make War, Not Love exhibition: wall text samples, pamphlets handed out to museum guests, photographs, and a contact sheet.


Additionally, the folder also contains copies of the press release, curatorial statement, short biographies on the curator and the artist, newspaper clippings, and even an exhibition catalog.


(Edition of 5.)