Gallery: Axel Vervoordt Gallery
Artist(s): Ryuji Tanaka
Opening / Event Date: 19 Oct, 2019
Closing / End Date: 1 Feb, 2020
10 Chancery Lane Gallery is pleased to present Tropicana Migration, an exhibition of new work by Dinh Q. Lê. Lê is best known for his large-scale photographic weavings and video works that question the way in which world events are perceived. Dealing in his art practice with the Vietnam War, Lê observes its implications on his country and his own personal history. Tropicana Migration will include a large installation, photographic weavings, photographs and video works. Lê examines the evolution of his country through tourism and how still today the Vietnam War’s presence continues to be an ironic attraction. The exhibition continues Lê’s investigation into his homeland, the Vietnam War and how it is placed today by the tourism industry.
Dinh Q. Lê will create an installation at 10 Chancery Lane Gallery that takes a critical and humorous look at the tourism industry in Vietnam. Lê analyzes the migration patterns of the tourists who come from the First World to vacation in developing countries like Vietnam, escaping their brutal winter in search for warmth, as well as taking advantage of the economic differences to be waited on hand and foot. As countries like Vietnam need tourism dollars, it provides and puts up with almost anything and through the process has created some of the most surreal situations in order to keep tourists coming.
Beginning in Hanoi, Vietnam’s capital, tourists are warmly welcome by dead Vietnamese revolutionary communist leader Ho Chi Minh in his refrigerated mausoleum. Traveling South, visitors can tour the former Demilitarized Zone and Danang where one can enjoy being pampered at the many five-stars resorts along “China Beach,” once home to the busiest US military air base during the brutal Vietnam War. This is where American soldiers once bombed North Vietnam in the morning and could still make it to the beach to get a tan in the afternoon. Tourists can continue even further South to visit the village Son My, also known as My Lai, where 400 women and children were massacred on March 16, 1968, and then visit the beautiful beaches there and enjoy some cheap fresh seafood. Lastly, reaching Ho Chi Minh City, locally known as Saigon (a form of resistance by the local Vietnamese), where the food is divine and the flourishing sex trade is ready to serve your every need for a reasonable price. A place where even former glam-rock singer and pedophile Garry Glitter found his paradise until he was caught.
Dinh Q. Lê will transform 10 Chancery Lane Gallery into Danang Beach with floor-to-ceiling wall coverings. A refrigerated wax sculpture of Ho Chi Minh will greet gallery visitors. An installation of brightly painted coconuts, their first shoots of palm erupting, cover the floor. Lê uses the coconut as a symbol of migration as well; coconuts float around the seas finding beaches to sprout from causing their own migrations and transplantations. Lê transports Ho Chi Minh to Hong Kong to offer the same sort of voyeurism as we peer through the glass door of the refrigerator.
A series of tourism promotional posters will greet visitors, espousing reasons why you should come back and visit Vietnam with slogans like “Come back to Vietnam! We promised we won’t spit on you.” which add further incongruity to the seemingly pleasant colors and relaxed feel of the exhibition. A group of new photo-weavings will focus on the tourist experiences combining images of luxurious resorts with horrific images from the Vietnam War.
Though at first glance the exhibition seems lighthearted, it ends on a dark note with a video that will meditate on the problem of sexual abuse of children in Vietnam by the growing number of foreign pedophiles touring and staying in Vietnam.
About Dinh Q. Lê
Dinh Q. Lê lives in Vietnam and holds an MFA in photography from the School of Visual Arts in New York. He participated in the 2013 Carnegie International at the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, dOCUMENTA 13 in 2012, the 2009 Biennale Cuveê in Linz, Austria, the 2008 Singapore Biennale, and the 2006 Asia-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, in Brisbane, Australia. His work has been exhibited at major institutions including: Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; Carnegie Museum, Pittsburgh, PA, Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation, Sydney, Australia; MoMA PS1, Long Island City, New York; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, Illinois; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas; Tufts University Art Gallery, Medford, Massachusetts; and the Asia Society, New York, New York, among many others. His work is currently the subject of the solo exhibition Crossing the Farther Shore at the Rice University Art Gallery. The Mori Museum of Art in Tokyo is currently organizing a survey of his work for 2015. Lê’s work is also included in numerous permanent collections including The Museum of Modern Art, The Ford Foundation, The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art.
For press enquiries and to arrange interviews, please contact Bo Kim on [email protected] or +852 2810 0065.
Exhibition period: March 12- April 18