Opening Reception: Thursday, May 14th, 6-8pm
10 Chancery Lane Gallery is proud to present a new 3-D animation video by internationally acclaimed multimedia artist Dinh Q. Lê, entitled South China Sea Pishkun, along with new photo works.
In his new work, South China Sea Pishkun, Dinh Q. Lê references the horrifying events that occurred on April 30th 1975 (the day Saigon fell) as hundreds of thousands of people tried to flee Saigon from the encroaching North Vietnamese Army and Viet Cong. The mass exodus was a “Pishkun” a term used to describe the way in which the Blackfoot American Indians would drive roaming buffalo off cliffs in what is known as a buffalo jump.
In a panicking frenzy hundreds of U.S. built helicopters escaped towards waiting U.S. aircraft carriers in the South China Sea. Many never found the aircraft carriers crashing into the sea as they ran out of fuel. Some helicopters reached the carriers but soon the number of helicopters far exceeded the capacity of the carriers leaving hundreds stranded hovering in the air. The decision was made to drive off hundreds of helicopters and they were pushed into the South China Sea to make room for others to land. Shocking news footages of this event show these powerful machines that had rained terror over Vietnam for so long in their struggling, dying, and sinking demise.
Dinh Q. Lê states: “These were the very same machines that the U.S. military were counting on to give them the advantage to win the war. In their last moments, their failure was so spectacular. There is something so human and so moving seen in these powerful giant helicopters, likened to beasts, in their last moments struggling, grasping for the last breath of air before disappearing below the South China Sea forever.”
South China Sea Pishkun is a single channel 3-D animation video restaging these last historical moments. With the current situation in Iraq, South China Sea Pishkun is a poignant reminder that war no longer can be won through technology, or military might.
Throughout his career Dinh Q. Lê has explored a cross section of both Vietnam and America in his works. Best known for his photo weavings that act as an interplay between his real and reinterpreted memories of the Vietnam war he recollects and reconciles his past.
Having moved back to Vietnam more than 10 years ago, Lê’s current work reflects both contemporary Vietnamese culture linked to historical issues. Dinh Q. Lê lives in Vietnam and holds an MFA in photography from the School of Visual Arts (NewYork, NY).
In May 2010 Lê’s work will be the subject of a one-person exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. He has exhibited extensively internationally, recently participating in the 2009 Biennale Cuveé 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 PS1 Contemporary Art Center (Long Island City, NY), the Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago, IL), The Museum of Fine Arts (Houston, TX), the Asia Society (New York, NY), among many others, and was recently featured in a solo exhibition at the Tufts University Art Gallery (Medford, MA). 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.
Artist’s Talk and High Tea | May 15th 3:30pm at 10 Chancery Lane Gallery, Central.