Vietnam: Behind the Lines

© 2002 Nguyen Cong Do

Nguyen Cong Do, an original design for a poster, 1973

Television footage and reportage photography brought the America-Vietnam War from the jungles of South-east Asia to the sitting rooms of people around the world. For the first time in history, a civilian audience was able to monitor military operations on the other side of the world. Western correspondents, journalists, writers, photographers and artists travelled to the battle scenes and their work informs our understanding of the war. Indeed certain images from this conflict ultimately contributed to the cessation of the conflict in 1975.

The exhibition Vietnam: Behind the Lines - Images from the War 1965-75 (13 June - 1 December 2002, Room 91) presents an aspect of the conflict unfamiliar to a Western audience: works made by Vietnamese artists. Some were engaged in the creation of propaganda materials for the Vietnamese government, some in the recording of the war, others simply exercising a creative talent for pleasure. These unusual and often arresting images arranged in five broad themes (numbers in brackets indicate the pages in this tour): official propaganda (1-8); communications and base camp life; combat and the new active role of women (9-11); portraits (12); agriculture and industry (13-15).

Vietnam: Behind the Lines public programme is presented in Association with Visiting Arts.