East of Eden: Vietnam

September 12 October 24, 2009

Reception for the Artist: Saturday, September 12, 6 9 pm


Los Angeles, CA - Sam Lee Gallery is pleased to present Pipo Nguyen-duy’s East of Eden: Vietnam exhibition that opens September 12 and closes October 24, 2009. The gallery will host a reception for the artist on Saturday, September 12, 6 to 9 p.m.


Pipo Nguyen-duy’s East of Eden: Vietnam, his third solo exhibition at the gallery, offers the viewer a new series of staged, large-scale, color photographs that explores hope and renewal thirty years after the Vietnam conflict. East of Eden: Vietnam is the 3rd installment of the artist’s ongoing, epic photographic project that crosses vast terrain and explores the displacement of humanity from a post-September-11 perspective. This new work represents the culmination of 2 grueling trips to Vietnam; Nguyen-duy (in 2005 and 2009) traversed the country on a rented moped in search of war survivors—both afflicted civilians and amputee ex-combatants—and photograph them against the idyllic Southeast Asian landscape. The series has come full circle.


In East of Eden: Vietnam, Nguyen-duy has not veered far from his signature art practice, focusing on producing images that employ a blend of documentation and performance. Using the landscape as a post-apocalyptic “Eden,” Nguyen-duy points out the horrific evidence of violent conflict and also focuses on the persistence of the human spirit. Each image conjures a narrative that hints at the past but also looks to the future. With Remembrance (2005), two young Vietnamese girls stand in shin-deep water of a lotus pond; they both acknowledge the viewer’s gaze and are surrounded by candle-lit lanterns—each votive representing a soul—that will float downstream in a ritual that remembers the dead and celebrates the living. In Father and Son (2005), both figures sit side-by-side underneath a shady tree; the father, his eyes disfigured, stares forward in solemnized dignity while his son quietly contemplates the unknown.


Nguyen-duy, born in Hue, Vietnam in 1962, received a master’s degree of fine arts in photography from the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque in 1998. The artist lives in Ashland, Oregon, and teaches at Oberlin College, in Oberlin, Ohio, where he is associate professor of photography. His work has been shown internationally, with recent exhibitions at the Light Work Gallery in New York, the Faaborg Museum in Denmark, and the Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego.


Digital images are available for press purposes.  Please email (info@samleegallery.com) for reproduction requests.


Sam Lee Gallery is located at 990 N. Hill Street #190, Los Angeles, CA 90012, Phone 323-227-0275, Facsimile 323-227-0256. Gallery hours are Tuesday to Saturday, 12 to 6 pm. For detailed information, please visit the gallery’s website, www.samleegallery.com.