Brandon Tho Harris, Seabrook, TX , Archival Inkjet Print, 12 x 12", 2020
Seabrook Texas is the site of racial attacks on Vietnamese refugees in the 1980’s. On February 14, 1981, in Seabrook, Texas the Ku Klux Klan burning a wooden boat with the words “USS VIET-CONG” painted on the side. This piece examines these lost histories and the traces of mass migration. It investigates the immigrants’ notions of belonging, home, and homeland.
Brandon Tho Harris is an interdisciplinary artist based in Houston, Texas. His creative practice explores his identity as a child of war refugees. By examining the Vietnamese diaspora in relation to his own family history, he is able to understand and process intergenerational trauma. Harris’ work incorporates self-portraiture, family archives, traditional textiles, and historical images portraying the Vietnam War. Through the use of photography, video, performance and installation, he allows the viewers a deeper understanding of the complexities surrounding migration. His work has been featured in exhibitions at Houston Center for Photography and the Blaffer Art Museum. Harris' projects have also been funded by grants from The Idea Fund and Houston Art Alliance.
Harris has chosen to support The Alliance because of their history with aiding refugees in their resettlement here in Houston since 1985. When the artist's family migrated from Vietnam to the United States during the war, an organization similar to The Alliance greatly helped his family get back on their feet. The Alliance provides a range of services and programs for newly-arrived refugees to help them to adjust in their new lives in Houston. Their mission is “To create opportunities for refugees, immigrants, and underserved residents to achieve their goals for self-sufficiency and improve their quality of life”.