SJMA is organizing the largest solo exhibition in the United States in more than a decade of the work of internationally-renowned artist Dinh Q. Lê. Highlighting the artist’s ongoing experimentations in narrative and storytelling, the exhibition features four major video and photography installations, along with a selection of rarely seen floral photo-weavings. Dinh Q. Lê: True Journey Is Return entwines unknown or rarely heard narratives of war and migration from people in North Vietnam, people of the Vietnamese diaspora, and refugees who, like Lê himself, have recently returned to Vietnam. Lê assembles these obscure stories through an extensive archival practice that involves the collection of found photographs, artists’ war sketches, and oral histories.
In doing so he presents a nuanced narrative about Vietnamese life before, during, and after the Vietnam War, questions the viability of collective memory, and reveals the effects of trauma on the cultural imagination. SJMA will present the US premiere of Vision in Darkness: Tran Trung Tin (2015), an installation of six abstract paintings and a documentary video on the life and work of artist Tran Trung Tin (1933–2008). The exhibition is the fourth iteration of SJMA’s ongoing series “New Stories from the Edge of Asia.”
(Photo: Dinh Q. Lê, Crossing the Farther Shore, 2014, Found photographs, thread, and linen tape, Seven parts, dimensions variable, Courtesy of Shoshana Wayne Gallery, Santa Monica)