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Over the past 30 years, Vietnamese expatriates living all around the world continue to struggle with their collective identity. These people loss their original authentic government, have a “home” that they cannot live in and carry a nationality that they can no longer affirm. Nonetheless, these Vietnamese, including myself, are segregated citizens resettling amongst many countries. I fear that these issues about the Vietnamese can potentially be damaging to the vitality of future Vietnamese-American generations. Although, I believe these issues can be harmonized with serious commitments to unify these enclaves of displaced Vietnamese.
In early 2005, Immigrant Resettlement & Cultural Center, Inc. (IRCC) hosted an exhibition of the Vietnamese Boatpeople in Orange County, California, which was the result of research since year 2000 documenting a 25-year collection that the Vietnamese in the United States had kept with them on their journey to relive freedom. This exhibition was prepared in one week and drew over 10,000 visitors. The ideal of unifying Vietnamese living in countries around the world through the concept of historical documentation and cultural preservations is not new; however, (to my best of knowledge) there has not been a permanent implementation on the idea in the United States, so I want to propose a memorial museum for the Vietnamese expatriates, a cultural landmark in America that supports the preservation of artifacts of the Vietnamese who crossed the seas as well as documents the historical events that occurred.
• To create an architectural place as a memory resonator for visitors to understand historical facts about refugees from Vietnam and their resettlement in America.
• To enhance development in the project’s location and to show contribution of the Vietnamese community in America.
• To be responsive to local context and building resources.