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LET’S FACE IMMIGRATION: A MURAL FOR PEACE
MIAMI, FL (Nov. 18, 2011) - The Peace Mural Foundation will inaugurate IMMIGRATION Wall of Borders at the Miami Art Palace on 14 January 2012. Based on the artwork of the late Joseph Demarais (1927-1971), this massive art project is led by Huong, an artist, refugee, survivor of the Vietnam War, and fervent social activist.
The project sets out to recognize that the United States of America is a multicultural nation that has prospered thanks to the effort of immigrants. It aims to motivate the public to reflect on their own ancestors and understand the fundamental input that immigrants have made throughout US history. In addition, it aims to mediate between the supporters and the opponents of immigration, respecting all opinions, voices, and perspectives.
“IMMIGRATION Wall of Borders” is a fresh contribution to the raging debate around this social issue. Like Huong’s previous murals, it is a dynamic and interactive work that invites the public to get involved. Visitors can leave their signatures in the mural or add their opinions and comments regarding the immigration issue. In this way the piece creates its own civic and civil dialogue, a contribution to the solution of this problem that affects so many of us here in the United States.
“It is a giant book combining the life work of the late artist Joseph Demarais and more than 200 quotes, presenting the different voices of America―from the first president to the newest immigrants, from the Constitution to the current debates on this critical national issue,” Huong notes. “I hope viewers will see where America comes from and consider where they want it to go, how today’s immigration policies will shape our future.” The Mural brings together the words of, among others, George Washington, John F. Kennedy, Janet Napolitano, Barack Obama, the Hispanic journalist Jorge Ramos, Nelson A. Miles, Mourid Bargouti, Carl Pope, Dale Steiner, Albert Einstein, Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King, Jr., Edward Everett, Walt Whitman, and Emma Lazarus, as recorded on the base of the Statue of Liberty. The artist expects these diverse images and texts to directly engage the Americans who view the mural and transmit a message of reconciliation, peace, and hope.
Huong plans to unveil the 8-foot-tall and 200-foot-long IMMIGRATION Mural in Miami this January, and then exhibit it nationwide for 2 years, with priority given to the southern border states of California, Arizona, Texas, and Alabama. She explains: “This nation 35 years ago, opened it door for me and my son, I hope this door will always open to other needed refugees and immigrants from anywhere in the world.”
About the Peace Mural Foundation
The Peace Mural Foundation’s mission is to promote civic education and action for peace & justice through the arts. The primary purpose of the Foundation is to prevent or resolve conflicts within communities by working together with scholars, artists, civic institutions, nonprofit organizations, and the general public. Using art as a channel, it aims to sensitize spectators through enormous murals, powerful visual stimuli at a moment when words seem not to be enough.
As a survivor of the Vietnam War, she fled to the United States in 1975 through the delta of the Mekong River on a boat with her small son in her arms. Trained as a journalist, after she reached the US, Huong found a new path in art which would convert her into an activist for peace. Art helped her to confront the tragedy, the loss of her family, and the effort of adapting herself to a new land. Painting was a cathartic exercise that helped her to organize her memories, to trust again, and to experience a resurgence of hope. Motivated by her own life history, Huong has committed herself to communicate peace through art.