Dinh Q. Lê

b. 1968 in Hà Tiên, Vietnam
Working in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; and Los Angeles, CA, United States of America
Showing at Asia Society Museum
On view from March 26, 2021, through June 27, 2021
Dinh Q. Lê, WTC in Four Moments, 2014

Dinh Q. Lê, WTC in Four Moments, 2014. Four-channel video with sound. Duration: 6 minutes. Courtesy of the artist and P.P.O.W. Courtesy of the artist and P.P.O.W.

Location: Asia Society Museum

Through retelling histories, Dinh Q. Lê not only questions the construction of historical narratives but also attempts to initiate a meaningful dialogue about trauma, loss, and redemption. After the end of the American-Vietnam War in 1978, the artist and his family immigrated to the United States, where Lê remained until deciding to return to Vietnam in 1993 to focus on his artistic practice. The artist received a BFA from the University of California, Santa Barbara, in 1989 and an MFA in photography and related media from the School of Visual Arts, New York, in 1992. Lê is the cofounder and chairman of the board of Sàn Art in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. 

WTC in Four Moments is meant to resemble the four seasons, cycling through summer, fall, winter, and spring. The four channels correspond to the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in four moments: before the attack, during the attack, after the collapse of the two towers, and during the rebuilding. Each channel depicts an image of the World Trade Center that is digitally stretched to 656 feet, 2 inches (200 meters). These images are further digitally abstracted; all recognizable associations with 9/11 are removed to allow a reconsideration of the events as a slow progression of moments that move from trauma to regeneration. Images become symbols, and our perceptions and memories of an event preserve its enduring impact.