A Vietnamese suitcase is a generally speaking a cardboard box. The “suitcase” serves a particularly temporary purpose, unlike the somewhat indestructible western version of the suitcase, made for on-going travel. I position myself at locations around various cities; the sites in each city include the federal building, the Vietnamese neighborhood and a Vietnam Memorial. I travel between these sites by public transit over the course of one day.
People are asked to share their thoughts, feelings, and memories of Vietnam. I chose not to talk, instead using a flyer and gestures to communicate. I ask people to share these thoughts, feelings and memories by writing them on Joss paper and placing the Joss paper in the “suitcase”. I carry these sentiments with me throughout the city.
At each Vietnam Memorial, I perform a mourning ritual where I burn incense to honor the Vietnamese who were killed in the war. The durational performance was performed in three cities - Los Angeles, Chicago, and Washington DC. An installation was created with the Joss paper and the documentation of the durational performance. After visiting all three cities, I returned the Joss Paper and suitcases to Vietnam. In Hanoi, Vietnam, I created a final ritual performance. Using the text from the Joss Paper and a translator I read the sentiments in English and Vietnamese then I burned the Joss papers.