The Missing Piece Project envisions a nationwide, coordinated, mass dedication of objects at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial of Washington DC (the Wall) by Vietnamese, Lao, Hmong, Cambodian, and other communities still affected today by the legacy of the conflict in Southeast Asia, allowing these communities to reclaim their past experiences, history, and memories, on their own terms. The collective dedication will take place on the 50th anniversary of the “end” of the Vietnam War on April 30, 2025. Pilot versions of the project occured on April 30, 2018 and 2019, with dedications of objects from the VietUnity-Los Angeles community and others. In coming years we aim to expand the project to be more inclusive of the diverse communities affected by the war.




The Wall has been hailed as a profound site of healing for those who visit. Visitors often leave items at the Wall dedicated to fallen loved ones, or in an attempt to let go of traumatic experiences. Since its opening in 1982, national park rangers have collected all items left at the Wall, which are catalogued and stored in a national archive. However, during a visit to the archive in 2015, with the help of archive staff, we found only 6 items that had been left at the Wall by members of the Vietnamese refugee community, out of hundreds of thousands. Why has the Vietnamese refugee community not been included in this public memorial? What other communities who have been affected by the conflict in Southeast Asia are missing from this history? Has there been an explicit (the names of your dead are not here) and/or implicit (this space is not for you, don’t leave your items here) exclusion of these voices from this national memorial? This project carves out space for the collective engagement of diverse voices affected by the war in Southeast Asia in this public, nationally recognized memorial.


A documentary short by director Daniel Luu about The Missing Piece Project was featured at the 2019 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival on Thursday, May 9, 2019 at the Regal L.A. Live Theatre! Click HERE for more information about the screening.


April 30, 2018 – Artist Antonius Bui is interviewed by Bích Phượng of SBTN-DC (Saigon Broadcasting Network-DC) about the Missing Piece Project.


April 30, 2018 – Artist Tiffany Le is interviewed by Bích Phượng of SBTN-DC (Saigon Broadcasting Network-DC) about the Missing Piece Project.


April 30, 2018 – Dr. Kim Tran interviewed by Bích Phượng of SBTN-DC (Saigon Broadcasting Network-DC) about the Missing Piece Project.



Kim Tran


Keva Bui

Artist and Scholar

Lan Nguyen

Website Designer

David Dang

Video Editor

Tiffany Le

Logo Designer

Vivian Duong

Logo Designer / Videographer

Lan Hoang Nguyen

Photographer / Videographer / Video Editor

Quyen Nguyen-Le


Sunny Le

Website Designer

Daniel Luu


Kim Pham

Video Editor

Antonius Tin-Bui



What is the Vietnam Collection?

The Vietnam Collection is made up of objects left by the public at the Vietnam War Memorial (the Wall) in Washington DC. It contains an estimated 400,000 objects, which are stored in the National Park Service Museum Resource Center. It is a unique collection in that all objects are donated by members of the public who visit the Wall. In this way, it is a publicly curated collection, rather one curated by a single person or institution.

What prompted the Missing Piece Project?

This project started when Kim Tran visited the Vietnam Collection in 2015. She was interested in seeing if any objects in the collection had been left by members of the Vietnamese refugee community. With the help of a curator, she found only 6 items that had been left by Vietnamese people, out of hundreds of thousands. The lack of objects from Vietnamese refugees in collection mirrors the way that mainstream narratives in the US surrounding the Vietnam War often render invisible the complex experiences of Vietnamese and other Southeast Asian community members.

What was the Missing Piece Project pilot?

The Missing Piece Project pilot occured on April 30, 2018, with support from the Critical Refugee Studies Collective. Several members of VietUnity-LA collected objects from their local communities, traveled to Washington D.C., and dedicated these items at the Wall. You can see documentation of these objects in the Gallery section.

How do I submit to the Missing Piece Project?

Organize a collective dedication within your community. When you dedicate the items at the Wall, document them with photographs, written text explaining the objects, video interviews, etc, and submit these digital files on the Missing Piece Project website. We will need at least one photo of your item being left at the Wall in order for it to be included in our digital archive.

What types of items can be submitted?

During the pilot program, people have left everything from family trees, to photographs, artwork, poetry, and historical artifacts. We encourage you to dedicate any items that speak to your experiences of the conflict in Southeast Asia and its legacy. There is no set criteria for what these objects might be. In terms of the Missing Piece Project digital archive, the types of documentation files we are accept are: jpeg, png, pdf, mp4, mov, mp3, and wav.

Where will my object go after submission?

The physical objects will be housed by the National Parks Service Vietnam Veterans Memorial Collection (, if it meets their Scope of Collection Statement ( The digital documentation of the object will be available on the Missing Piece Project website.

How can I support the project?

Help us spread the word by sharing our website, Facebook page, etc. and telling your community about the project. You can donate to the project here.


The communities affected by the conflict in Southeast Asia are diverse in their personal experiences and perspectives. The Missing Piece Project aims to create a space that is open to a wide range of viewpoints, in order to show the complexity of these communities and their experiences. The views and opinions expressed by those who participate in the project are solely their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizers of the Missing Piece Project.

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