Viet Lê

Visual Artist, Writer & Curator, Vietnam/US

Việt Lê is an artist, writer, and curator. Lê is an Assistant Professor in Visual Studies at California College of the Arts (San Francisco | Oakland). Lê received his M.F.A. from the University of California, Irvine, where he has also taught Studio Art and Visual Culture courses. He received his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Southern California (Department of American Studies & Ethnicity). In Taipei, he was a postdoctoral fellow at Academia Sinica. His writing has been translated into Chinese, German, Khmer, and Vietnamese.

Viet Lê aimed to research and complete a series (photographic portraits and hybrid documentary music video) on the legacies of French Indochina, particularly Vietnamese immigrants living in Marseille. Vietnam was one of France’s colonies, leading to large numbers of Vietnamese to settle in France, including Marseille and other metropolitan areas. The video art project consists of oral interviews with Vietnamese immigrants living in the Marseille area combined with an original music soundtrack and improvised choreography. The soundtrack pays homage to the hybrid Vietnamese and French songs that have been popular in Viet Nam and its diasporas since the 1930s onwards.

Viet Lê was in residence from December 14 to January 14, 2015-2016, in partnership with the Jerome Foundation and Art Matters.