In 2017, artist Chrystal Phan worked at the Royal B.C. Museum in Victoria. During this time, she detected something that got her disappointed. She stated that her disappointment came when she realized that her fellow Vietnamese-Canadians were not represented in the museum’s exhibit on families that year.
Last year, Phan decided to do a solo exhibit of her own. She did this with the hope that it would help the public understand her community better.
In 2020, Phan received a Canada Council for the Arts grant to create six large-scale oil paintings. Currently, the paintings are displayed at the Chapel Gallery in St. Matthias Anglican Church.
Owing to the support Canada gives immigrants, Canadian Visa Professionals stated that newcomers can enjoy a home away from home experience in the country.
The Story Behind the Vietnamese-Canadian Exhibit
Chrystal Phan was born in Victoria to refuge parents. Her parents came to Canada in 1980 after fleeing Sóc Trăng in southern Vietnam.
40-year-old Phan said she became aware of the challenges Vietnamese newcomers face around integrating when she visited the Family: Bonds and Belonging exhibit at the Royal B.C. Museum. At the time, she was a major gifts manager at the museum.
She stated that she noticed her family wasn’t part of the exhibit while she was walking through it. When she noticed, she asked the head curator of the exhibit about what could have happened. The curator responded that most of the artifacts were donated, and they didn’t get any connection to Vietnamese communities. This factor was, thus, the reason for no Vietnamese printing in the exhibit, Canadian Visa Professionals noted.
One Painting in the Vietnamese-Canadian Exhibit
One of Phan’s paintings in the exhibit was Camping. The painting shows a Vietnamese-Canadian family using chopsticks to barbeque around a pit. A curator, Nicky Rendell, stated that the work of art was delightful.