Doan Truong

We Are Refugees is a series of 4 posters and postcards about 4 huge refugee crises in Asian history, from the past to recent years. Focusing on the image of children in the exodus, the series emphasizes their vulnerability during the challenging journeys, which they had no choice but to go through and leave everything behind. 

On the back of the postcards is an excerpt from the poem Things We Carry On The Sea by Wang Ping: “We carry old homes along the spine, new dreams in our chests; We carry yesterday, today and tomorrow.” Refugees are undoubtedly courageous people who dare to give up everything and go out to the unknown to seek a safe land; because we all know that “No one leaves home unless home is the mouth of a shark” — Home, Warsan Shire.

The posters and postcards were printed using different techniques of traditional printmaking:

  • Poster 1: Vietnamese Refugee Kids, silkscreen and linocut (Vietnamese Refugees aka Boat People fled the country from 1975 to 1990s after the Vietnam War)
  • Poster 2: Syrian Refugee Kids, silkscreen (Syrian Civil War Refugees — 2010s till present)
  • Poster 3: North Korean Refugee Kids, reduction woodcut (North Korean Refugees fled the country from 1953 to current years after the Korean War)
  • Poster 4: Burmese Refugee Kids, risograph (Burmese Refugees fled Burma/Myanmar after the nation-wide Pro-Democracy protests in 1988 aka the 8-8-88 Uprisings)
  • Postcards: We Are Refugees, silkscreen and linocut (with “We Are Refugees” be carved and printed in 5 different languages including English, Vietnamese, Burmese, Arabic and Korean)
We Are Refugees, 2021
Vietnamese Refugee Kids, silkscreen and linocut, 2021
Syrian Refugee Kids, silkscreen, 2021
North Korean Refugee Kids, reduction woodcut, 2021
Burmese Refugee Kids, risograph, 2021

Award Recipient

  • ECU Graduation Award for Anti-Racism + Social Justice – Visual Arts

Doan Truong

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Doan Truong is a Vietnamese illustrator and printmaker based in what is now known as Vancouver, Canada, on the unceded, traditional, and ancestral xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish), and səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) territories. Doan works experimentally by transforming digital illustrations into traditional printed art forms using different printmaking techniques. Her works depict her point of view on social, political, and cultural issues. The subject matter of her posters, zines, postcards, and portraits mostly focuses on immigrants and refugees, Vietnamese culture, and the lack of freedom of expression in her motherland.
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