Beyond Granite: Pulling Together | Tiffany Chung, For the Living

Tiffany Chung, For the Living (2023)
Constitution Gardens–West, near Vietnam Veterans Memorial
A sprawling installation of a map of the world that traces the global routes of Southeast Asian immigrants and refugees from the Vietnam War, adjacent to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Tiffany Chung’s For the Living is a monumental world map based on routes of exile, including those taken by the Southeast Asian diaspora as a result of the Vietnam War. Chung explores this narrative of immigrant and refugee movement by inviting viewers to reimagine how these pathways contribute to the story of US geography and belonging. Each line on the map, conveyed through a color-coded calibrated rope, corresponds to routes by boat (blue), land (orange), and air (yellow). Placed in proximity to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Chung’s work uses, as she notes, “the Vietnamese experience as an anchor point and reminder of America being a second chance that many people have risked their lives for.” 

Mixed-media earthwork

Project manager: Matthew Seamus Callinan
Fabricators: UAP and RZ-1 Fine Art Solutions
Special thank-yous: Betsy Jacobson, Margaret Hewitt, Mike Price, Rachel Schmidt, Christopher Testa, Brian Barr, Maggie Tsang, Gebby Keny, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Archive, Geneva

A Vietnamese woman stands regally in front of a cityscape flecked with the light browns of drying plants. She wears a navy blouse closed with a brown button with a small v at the neckline. A small smile plays on her lips.Tiffany Chung  (Born 1969 in Da Nang, Vietnam; based in Houston, Texas; she/her/hers) is a Vietnamese American visual artist known for her map-based drawings, embroideries, paintings, sculptures, photographs, and videos that examine conflict, geopolitical partitioning, spatial transformation, environmental crisis, and forced migration in relation to history and cultural memory. Her work has been presented in a solo exhibition at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and at biennials and museums worldwide, including the 56th Venice Biennale, the Museum of Modern Art, the British Museum, and the Nobel Peace Center. Chung’s solo show Rise into the Atmosphere is on view at the Dallas Museum of Art through August 2025.

Follow Tiffany Chung on Instagram @tiffanydchung and learn more about her work.

Beyond Granite: Pulling Together is presented by the Trust for the National Mall in partnership with the National Capital Planning Commission and the National Park Service and is generously funded by the Mellon Foundation.

Image Credits

  • Tiffany Chung's For the Living on the National Mall. Photo by Steve Weinik, 2023.
  • Tiffany Chung is speaking with Beyond Granite: Pulling Together assistant project managers, Adele Yiseol Kenworthy and Tina Villadolid, at the National Mall during a site visit. Photo by AJ Mitchell, 2022.