From Vietnam to Hollywood (2003 – 05) / Dinh Q. Le


Vietnamese artist Dinh Q. Lê is best known for From Vietnam to Hollywood (2003-2005) in which he uses his photo-weaving technique to confront his memories of the Vietnam War.

“Once, I visited my mum in California. At that time, there was a very big bush fire near her place. I recalled looking out at the sky and seeing helicopters dropping retardants to stop the fire. It was like a scene from the Vietnam War. But that was actually an image that came from Hollywood. I never did see helicopters when I was still in Vietnam during the war,” says Lê, who has moved back to Saigon in 1996. “It is important to recognize that my memory of the war has become so slippery.”

In From Vietnam to Hollywood, images from Hollywood movies of the Vietnam War, including Born on the Fourth of July and The Quiet American, are interwoven with press photos taken by western photographers and pictures of everyday life during the war. Lê has also tried to include press images taken by Vietnamese photographers but few are available.

Untitled / From Vietnam to Hollywood (2003-05) / Courtesy of Dinh Q. Le ]