Dinh Q. Lê, “South China Sea Pishkun,” 2009.
Digital Animation 6’30”.

Prince Claus Fund – Amsterdam

Scars & Other Remnants, the first solo exhibition of works by Dinh Q. Lê to be held in the Netherlands, will open on Wednesday 15 December 17.00 at the Prince Claus Fund Gallery. Dinh Q. Lê (born 1968) is considered one of the most important and influential contemporary Vietnamese artists, and is one of the recipients of a 2010 Prince Claus Award of 25,000 EUR. Dinh Q. Lê has exhibited extensively internationally, his work was the subject of a solo-exhibition at the MoMA in New York last July, where his work is also included in the permanent collection. Dinh Q. Lê lives and works in Vietnam and holds an MFA in photography from the School of Visual Arts (New York, NY).

Frontiers of Reality

The theme of the 2010 Prince Claus Awards is Frontiers of Reality. Within this context, the Prince Claus Fund has considered individuals and organizations whose exceptional performance not only challenges and changes the boundaries of our reality, but who, in doing so, contribute to the development of society. Dinh Q. Lê’s exhibition is one of the highlights in the context of the theme of the 2010 Prince Claus Awards.

On Thursday 16 December, the Prince Claus Fund in collaboration with the Amsterdam Fund for the Arts presents the Frontiers of Reality Talk Show, which will take place at the newly opened DeLaMar Theatre in Amsterdam. On Friday 17 December the Algerian publisher Barzakh Edition will receive the Principal Prince Claus Award of 100,000 Euro from HRH Prince Friso, Honorary Chairman of the Prince Claus Fund. In addition, ten other laureates will be presented with awards of € 25.000 at ceremonies in their respective countries by Ambassadors of the Netherlands.

Dinh Q. Lê

Dinh Q. Lê was brought up in Vietnam during the war with America and moved to the United States when he was 10 years old. While studying and beginning his artistic practice in the United States he was strongly influenced by Hollywood and western media perceptions of his homeland. He devised an innovative technique based on Vietnamese craft heritage, literally and metaphorically weaving images and fragments into complex combinations of different traditions, histories and realities. These ‘surreal memory landscapes’ dramatically portray the schizophrenic realities of exiles and migrants.

Returning to Vietnam, aged 25, he continued his explorations of contradictory realities. One powerful example of his recent work is the video South China Sea Pishkun (2009), a 3D animation of helicopters crashing into the South China Sea during America’s panicked retreat from Saigon. Pishkun is a Blackfeet American Indian term referring to the site where they used to kill roaming bison by driving them to a panic, and then running them over a cliff. South China Sea Pishkun shows these powerful machines in their last moments, crashing, struggling, flailing, sinking, and dying in the sea. Ironically, the U.S. military had been counting on helicopters to give them strategical advantage in Vietnam; South China Sea Pishkun shows their failure as tragic and spectacular.

Other works of Dinh Q. Lê examine genocide, consumerist glitz in disadvantaged places, and the promotion of Vietnam as an idyllic paradise for tourists. Scars & Other Remnants will show a variety of his works including South China Sea Pishkun, two photo weavings and the Damaged Genes installation.

Prince Claus Award

The Prince Claus Award honours Dinh Q. Lê for his strong creative work exploring different constructions of reality, for providing inspiration and practical opportunities for young artists, and for advancing free thought and contemporary visual expression in a context of indifference and hostility. The award will be presented to Dinh Q. Lê in 2011 by the Dutch Ambassador in Vietnam.

Scars & Other Remnants is on show at the Prince Claus Fund Gallery from 16 December 2010 till 18 March 2011. The Prince Claus Fund Gallery is located at the Herengracht 603 in the centre of Amsterdam and is opened on workdays from 9.00 am till 5.00 pm.

Media Contacts:

For further information, images, or to arrange interviews, please contact:
Mr. Sebas van der Sangen

Prince Claus Fund
Herengracht 603
1017 CE Amsterdam
The Netherlands

t. +31(0)20.3449160
f. +31(0)20.344916

*Image above:
Courtesy of Dinh Q. Lê.