Presented by this year’s cohort of artists participating in Gallery Beyond Walls, this exhibition explores cultural identity and connection, as captured through narratives of childhood memories, cultural expression, anxiety, self-acceptance, and the reclamation of identities. 

Chapter 2: Rewind, Reverse connects with themes from the graphic memoir The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui, which traces the author’s journey to uncover her immigrant family’s past. Just as Bui offers glimpses into the lives of her parents to humanize the refugees of the Vietnam War, our artists present artworks that reconstruct memories, emotions, and significant experiences from their pasts to diversify stories of the immigrant experience within the community, which continues to change from one generation to the next.

Gallery Beyond Walls is a multi-faceted arts program of the Vietnamese Arts and Letters Association (VAALA), a 501c3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to connect and enrich communities through Vietnamese arts and culture.

The Gallery Beyond Walls The Best We Could Do project’s purpose is to contribute to diversifying the stories of the immigrant and refugee experience and the larger American immigrant narrative through the mediums of storytelling and oral history, mixed media art, and comic and zine-making with themes from The Best We Could Do as the central and compelling connection. VAALA aims to provide a space for young adults (ages 16-26) to have access to learning and participating in art and storytelling for free. This project is a 36-hour program where the participants will be mentored and trained by expert instructors. Click here to read more about how the workshop was structured.

Workshops will be held mostly in-person at Garden Grove Public Library on Sundays 11am-2pm March-May. Some virtual engagements will be allowed.

There will be an optional Meet & Greet session on Sunday, March 6 from 11 am-1 pm at the Garden Grove Main Library for those interested in learning more about the program.

Gallery Beyond Walls Project Director: Janet Le
March: Oral Histories/Memoir Writing by T.K. Le
April: Mixed Media Arts by Tiffany Le
May: Comics/Zine-Making taught by all Gallery Beyond Wall Instructors


If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to Janet Le, Project Director, at

VAALA would like to express gratitude to the National Endowment for the Arts for their help in funding this project.