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VESTIGE

H Project Space is very pleased to announce an installation and durational performance by Việt Lê, an artist based in California.Vestige explores the resonances of H Gallery’s architecture, a 19th century Anglo-Thai edifice that has variously functioned as a church and orphanage in Bangkok’s Christian Quarter, which Việt uses as a catalyst to refract fragments of Southeast Asia’s histories. 2014 is the 40th anniversary of American military engagements in the region.

Việt will occupy H Project Space for a period as a form of research and also create a devotional object in a form of a beaded curtain. The public are invited to contribute to this meditative process by donating their own beads and string, and to also provide other types of gifts and offerings. Throughout the time of the installation, the windows of the space will be covered with sheets that are hand-painted with collective and personal images from the region’s past. These ghostly presences, accompanied by the communal activity of the artist’s interaction with the public, summon lives and deaths from Southeast Asia’s troubled histories, including the story of the lovelorn youth who committed suicide in the building.

Vestige also sees Việt develop the second installment of his internationally celebrated LOVE BANG! music video trilogy. TitledheART/break! and featuring time-traveling and star-crossed characters based on the memory of figures from refugee camps in Thailand, the video interweaves the past and the present with a humorous homage to Thai and Vietnamese tunes and Western pop songs, which are ever-present on the streets of Southeast Asia. Work-in-progress will be showcased.

Vestige essentially explores metaphors to face the fractured topographies of Southeast Asian identities. Divides and connections are occupied and announced, between the physical and metaphysical.

Việt Lê is an artist, writer, and curator. Lê is an Assistant Professor at the California College of the Arts (San Francisco). He has been published in positions: asia critiqueCrab Orchard Review; American Quarterly; Amerasia Journal; Art Journal; and the anthologies Writing from the Perfume RiverStrange CargoThe Spaces Between UsModern and Contemporary Southeast Asian Art; among others. Lê has received fellowships from Fulbright-Hays (Việt Nam), William Joiner CenterCivitella Ranieri Foundation (Italy)Fine Arts Work Center(USA), Center for Khmer Studies (Cambodia), Art Matters FoundationInternational Institute for Asian Studies (Leiden University, the Netherlands), and PEN Center USA. Lê has presented his work at The Banff Centre, Alberta, Canada; UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, USA; DoBaeBacSa Gallery, Seoul, Korea; Japan Foundation, Việt Nam; 1a Space, Hong Kong; Bangkok Art & Cultural Center (BACC), Thailand; Civitella Ranieri, Italy; Shanghai Biennale, China; Rio Gay Film Festival, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; among other venues. He was a nominated finalist for the 2009 Sovereign Art Foundation Art Prize (Hong Kong). His poetry collection was a 2013 Crab Orchard Review First Book Award Semi-Finalist.