Sunshine’s Phuong Ngo will this week give a talk at Newport’s Substation about his Vietnam archive, collected over six years.

The Vietnam Archive Project is a collection of slides, photos, film reels, documents, maps and objects about the Vietnam War.

Mr Ngo has a background in politics and international relations and began studying art in 2009.

“In 2010, I came across a group of slides on sale on eBay from America and I acquired them out of curiosity,” he said.

“It basically snowballed into a collection that now stands over 10,000 slides, between five and 10,000 photos and countless other objects.

“Most of it was shot during the war so probably 90 per cent of my material is from the war and then there’s a small component that’s post-war and a small component going back to the French Colonial period.”


Mr Ngo said his archive was driven by a quest to find out more about his personal identity and that of the wider Vietnamese diaspora since the fall of Saigon in 1975.

“My mum was affected by the rapid decolonisation of Vietnam following the French Indochina war,” he said.


“My mum was born in Cambodia … with the rise of Pol Pot and the ethnic cleansing of Vietnamese people in Cambodia, they then fled to war-torn Vietnam.

“My parents were Vietnamese boat people … they fled Vietnam in 1981 and were interred in a refugee camp in Malaysia for several months before they were accepted into Australia, and I was born here.”

Phuong Ngo will discuss his archive at the Substation, 1 Market Street, Newport, from 7pm on Thursday, May 12.