My Dad the People Smuggler, 2013

PHUONG NGO Based in Sunshine West Melbourne

In 1981 my father sailed his boat into the bay of Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia. From there he, my mother and brother were transferred to Pulau Bidong where they lived for several months before being accepted into Australia.

Art Exhibition previously on at The Substation Centre for Art and Culture in Victoria, Australia.
From Friday 18 October 2013 to Sunday 17 November 2013

My Dad the People Smuggler, 2013 image

Published by anonymous on Wednesday 30 October 2013.
Contact the publisher.

This video portrait of my father combines his experiences with that of my own. It presents imagery captured by journeying to Pulau Bidong in an attempt to reconcile the inherited memory of my father and the places in which they occurred. It is his story as a people smuggler and refugee, and mine as a second generation Vietnamese Australian trying to define my own identity.

By hijacking the term ‘people smuggler’, often used to describe the villainous other, and attributing it a personal and familial dimension I want to offer the viewer a counter point to the one-dimensional image of the people smuggler portrayed in the media and within contemporary debates.