January 22, 2023 | 2:00pm
The Wende Museum

Rethinking the West: Promise and Crisis of a Concept – Art Between Cultures

“Rethinking the West: Promise and Crisis of a Concept” is a transatlantic program series with events in the United States and Germany from December 2022 to February 2023. The program seeks to explore changing definitions of common ideas of ‘the West’ vis-à-vis the rest of the world, taking into consideration the global developments amplified by the war in Ukraine. By focusing on cultural, political and artistic themes, the program invites scholars, artists and intellectuals from different backgrounds and fields, to discuss these changing cultural concepts.

As part of this series, the Thomas Mann House and the Wende Museum have co-organized the panel discussion “Art Between Cultures” about shifting perspectives of the West through the lens of the visual arts. On January 22, artist Phung Huynh, who immigrated from Vietnam to the United States when she was one year old, and curator Asha Bukojemsky, who was raised between Canada and the United States by Ukrainian parents, will discuss living, working, creating, and building bridges between cultures. The discussion will be moderated by the Wende’s chief curator and director of programming Joes Segal. Join us beforehand for a free reception beginning at 1 p.m.

The series is a collaboration between the University of Muenster, the Carl Friedrich von Siemens Foundation Munich, the Wende Museum Culver City and the Thomas Mann House Los Angeles. The series will be communicated through a blog, displaying different aspects and takeaways of the program for an international audience. These institutions will conduct individual events in order to achieve the greatest possible degree of diversity of positions and perspectives. The events will take place at the respective locations in Münster, Munich and Los Angeles.


Asha Bukojemsky is an independent curator and public programmer based in Los Angeles. Her projects foster public engagement and critical dialogue around the construction of identity, decolonization, and the politics of memory in a shifting geopolitical landscape. Since 2017 she has produced Marathon Screenings, a series of salon-style film & video presentations, as well as exhibitions and projects with a range of organizations including: Institute for Contemporary Arts; JOAN; 18th Street Arts Center; Active Cultures; Oregon Contemporary; Syndicate (Vilnius, LT); Vernacular Institute (Mexico City); Creative Migration (Bangkok, TH); amongst others. She is currently producing Kyiv to LA, a collaborative residency project with 6 Ukrainian artists and art historians in Los Angeles.

Phung Huynh is a Los Angeles-based artist and educator with a practice in drawing, painting, public art, and community engagement. Her work explores cultural perception and representation. Her paintings and drawings have been exhibited nationally and internationally, including spaces such as the U.S. Embassy in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Phung Huynh is Professor of Art at Los Angeles Valley College and served as Chair of the Public Art Commission for the city of South Pasadena and Chair of the Prison Arts Collective Advisory Council, which supports arts programming in California state prisons. She is a recipient of the City of Los Angeles Individual Artist Fellowship, the California Arts Council Individual Established Artist Fellowship, and the California Community Foundation Visual Artist Fellowship. Phung Huynh is represented by Luis De Jesus Gallery in Los Angeles.

Joes Segal is Chief Curator and Director of Programming at the Wende Museum of the Cold War, Los Angeles, where he has organized more than 25 exhibitions. He has published widely on German cultural history, Cold War culture, and art and politics in international perspective. Among his book publications are Divided Dreamworlds? The Cultural Cold War in East and West, co-edited with Peter Romijn and Giles Scott-Smith (Amsterdam University Press, 2012) and Art and Politics: Between Purity and Propaganda (Amsterdam University Press, 2016).

The series Rethinking the West: Promise and Crisis of a Concept is a collaboration between the University of Muenster, the Carl Friedrich von Siemens Foundation in Munich, the Wende Museum in Culver City and the Thomas Mann House in Los Angeles.

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