YELLOW SUBMARINE RISING: Currents within Asian American Art

VAALA hosts multidisciplinary group art exhibition featuring eight Asian American artists inspired by the #StopAsianHate movement and Asian & Pacific Islander American resiliency


November 3, 2022 (Orange County, CA) – The Vietnamese American Arts and Letters Association (VAALA) presents Yellow Submarine Rising: Currents within Asian American Art, a multidisciplinary art exhibition showcasing compelling work by contemporary artists Antonius-Tin Bui, Binh Danh, Alison Ho, Bonnie Huang, Alina Kawai, Victo Ngai, Dan Lynh Pham and Jave Yoshimoto. 

Yellow Submarine Rising opens on Saturday, December 3, 2022 from 5pm to 10pm at the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art in conjunction with the Downtown Santa Ana Art Walk. The exhibition will run from December 3 until December 17, 2022 and will include special programming and community events. Admission and events are free and open to the public.

The exhibition serves as both contemplations and counterpoints to the Asian American experience and was conceived as an urgent response to the exponential rise in racially-driven hate crimes committed against the AAPI community. According to the 2021 Orange County Hate Crimes Report by OC Human Relations Commission, there was a 43% increase of anti-Asian/Pacific Islander hate crimes and a 164% increase in anti-Asian/Pacific Islander hate incidents from 2020 to 2021. The hate and harm experienced stems from an extensive history of xenophobic policies, systemic discrimination and AAPI misrepresentation in the media.

“VAALA was created to fill a cultural void, celebrate and promote Vietnamese arts and culture, and provide an enriching space to nurture creativity, representation and belonging,” said VAALA Executive Director Ysa Le. “Now in our 30th year of service, VAALA continues to support Asian American visual arts with Yellow Submarine Rising, our first fine art exhibition since the beginning of the COVID pandemic.”

Yellow Submarine Rising is organized into four themed galleries—Cultural Legacies, Belonging_Home, Elevating Empowerment, and Transferences and Futures. Each theme respectively touches upon our humanistic desires for: cultural continuity as found in Alina Kawai’s symbolisms and in Antonius-Tin Bui’s provocative papercuts; of rooting oneself into a place as reflected in Binh Danh’s portrait photographs and embodied in Bonnie Huang’s interwoven fibers; of finding courage against the odds as in Jave Yoshimoto’s masterful lasercuts and paintings, Dan Lynh Pham’s feminist visions, or in Alison Ho’s vulnerable installations; and finally of ensuring a more hopeful legacy as Victo Ngai’s children’s book illustrations and Project Honor murals reveal. 

Exhibition Curator Thuy N. D. Tran shares: “The submarine rising is a metaphor for our capacity to reform the tide of a hegemonic American consciousness. As fellow shipmates of diverse ethnicities and cultural backgrounds, if we mobilize in solidarity of heart and openness of mind, then together we can ascend above this crisis.” 

Thuy N. D. Tran Thuy N. D. Tran is an art historian of modern and contemporary art with a special focus on the Asian diaspora, postcolonial modernism, institutional critique, curatorial practices and the politics of representation. Through her extensive work as a community activist, art curator, university educator and contributing scholar, she strives to decolonize and make accessible the traditionally Western-centric and elitist field of art history. Her teaching philosophy highlights interdisciplinary and global perspectives, and her research interests are inspired by living artists. She holds a Master’s degree in Art History from Arizona State University and a Bachelor’s degree in Art History from the University of California, Los Angeles, with dual minors in Cultural Anthropology and Museum Studies. She is a doctoral candidate at the University of California in Santa Barbara.

Special Exhibition Programming includes:

  • Saturday, December 3, 2022, 5pm to 10pm – Opening Night Reception during the Downtown Santa Ana Art Walk; will include special poetry and spoken word performances by Asian American artists (7pm to 8:30pm)
  • Saturday, December 10, 2022, 1pm to 3pm – Childrens’ Author Book Panel & Childrens’ Book Reading; programming includes family-friendly craft activities
  • Saturday, December 17, 2022, 2pm to 3pm – Conversations with artist Binh Danh, featuring his artistic practice and new monograph, Binh Danh: The Enigma of Belonging (Radius Books, 2022)


YELLOW SUBMARINE RISING: Currents within Asian American Art 

Saturday, December 3, 2022 to December 17, 2022 

Orange County Center for Contemporary Art 

117 N Sycamore St, Santa Ana, CA 92701

Opening Reception on Saturday, December 3, 2022, 5pm to 10pm

Gallery hours: Friday – Sunday, 12pm to 5pm

More information at


The exhibition is presented in partnership with the Orange County Asian Pacific Islander Community Alliance (OCAPICA) and supported in part by the California Department of Social Service Stop The Hate – Transformative funding. 



Founded in 1991 by Vietnamese American journalists, artists and community members to fill a void and provide a space for artists to express themselves as a newly resettled immigrant community, the mission of the Vietnamese American Arts & Letters Association (VAALA) is to connect and enrich communities through Vietnamese arts and culture. Celebrating its 30th year of service, VAALA collaborates with diverse community partners to organize community-centered artistic cultural events, including art exhibitions, book signings, music recitals, plays and its annual Viet Film Fest and Gallery Beyond Walls programming. More information about VAALA on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.



Christine Tran

VAALA Managing Director

(714) 805-7363