• For my thesis, I unearthed a story I had never heard in detail or truly understood. I was afraid to ask questions until now. My thesis is the personal story of my parents’ courageous journey of escaping Vietnam and enduring a multitude of obstacles. Over a five day period, my parents’ traveled on seven different vessels in the South China Sea before reaching an island called Pulau Bidong, off the coast of Malaysia. They lived in Malaysia as refugees for one year before settling in America. 
     
    My parents’ story is a unique experience that represents the 2 million Vietnamese who fled their homes between 1975 and 1985. Today, there are an estimated 43.3 million forcibly displaced people worldwide — the highest number since the mid-1990s. 
     
  • 13.7 billion gallons of fuel were used by U.S. forces between 1966–1972, discounting the billions of gallons used in transporting troops and equipment, enough to heat 10,800,000 American homes for an entire year.
  • 58,200 U.S. servicemen were killed, 1,400,000 Vietnamese soldiers were killed and up to 5,000,000 Vietnamese civilians were killed during the war.
  • The U.S. military operated more than 11,827 helicopters, the Huey became a symbol of U.S. combat forces in Vietnam and millions of people worldwide watched it fly in TV news reports.
  • The war cost an estimated 168.1 billion dollars. At this rate, it cost the U.S. approximately $120,000 to kill each “enemy” soldier. 
  • 15,500,000 tons of firepower was used by U.S. forces in total during the Vietnam War, this firepower is the equivalent in destructive force of about 600 Hiroshima type atomic bombs.
  • My space consisted of two separate walls. The 'red' wall is the intro to my parent's story, it is considered the 'War Wall' which depicts certain facts about the Vietnam war. The white vinyl text on the War Wall is a list of weapons and machines, the first eight columns is South Vietnam and the United States, the last three columns is North Vietnam and Viet Cong. A sound dome hangs above the viewer playing audio of war. 
     
    The 'gray' wall is the story of my parents personal story of their struggles and fleeing Vietnam, eventually becoming refugees. The film piece is the main component and tells the story of parents' journey. Artifacts and a timeline reinforce their story and marry all the elements together, it makes the viewer fill in the blanks.