Project 11: Now at Hiroshima MOCA
Dinh Q. Lê
8 July - 10 September 2011
Vietnamese artist Dinh Q. Lê’s Erasure is an interactive sculptural and video installation that draws on recent debates in Australia concerning refugees and asylum seekers.
Thousands of small black and white photographs – self-portraits, family and passport photos – cover the gallery floor, with the image facing down. Visitors are encouraged to pick up these photographs, consider the lives of the people within them, and perhaps find lost images of their own families. During the course of the exhibition, the photographs will be scanned, catalogued, stored and uploaded to a purpose built website (www.erasurearchive.net), allowing people to browse through this collection of oan hon (lost souls).
Overlooking the photographs is a large moving image of an eighteenth century tall ship being slowly consumed by flames.
Born in Vietnam in 1968, Lê moved to Los Angeles with his family in 1979 after conflict escalated between the Vietnamese and the Khmer Rouge near their village at the Cambodian border. As a refugee himself, Lê was motivated to produce Erasure by the tragic sinking of an asylum seeker’s boat off Christmas Island in December 2010.
Erasure is a new commission and a curatorial collaboration between SCAF and Zoe Butt, co-director and curator, San Art, Ho Chi Minh City. This is Lê’s first solo exhibition in Australia.