New installation by contemporary artist Dinh Q. Lê opens at Rice Gallery April 10

Rice University Art Gallery’s spring season will open April 10 with a new installation by acclaimed contemporary artist Dinh Q. Lê. He is planning an ambitious, architectural installation of black and white photographic ephemera taken from the Vietnam War era pre-1975, according to Rice Gallery.

Lê’s installation will be on view through Aug. 28. An opening celebration April 10 from 5 to 7 p.m. will feature a gallery talk by the artist at 6 p.m. He will also speak at a luncheon reception April 11 from noon to 1 p.m. All events are free and open to the public.

Dinh Q. Lê, "Crossing the Farther Shore," 2014

Lê is the first Vietnamese artist to have a solo show at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. He is well-known for his approach to photography as a malleable material to splice, interweave and distort to explore his own relationship with Vietnam’s complicated cultural and political history. He has collected photographs over the years that are often similar to the images that might fill a family’s photo album: portraits, scenic vistas and snapshots from events. They are stitched together in monumental grids and paired with text handwritten on the back of the photographs.

For his Rice Gallery installation, specific recollections of the Vietnam War era have been chosen by Lê from oral-history interviews, including those conducted by Rice’s Chao Center for Asian Studies with Houston’s Vietnamese community, the second-largest outside of California. The large photo assemblages will be hung from the gallery’s ceiling to create ethereal, cube-like structures inspired by the rectangular mosquito nets used in Vietnam. Lê characterized the gesture as a “sleeping, dreaming memory of Vietnam,” Rice Gallery said.

The Rice Gallery, located on the first floor of Sewall Hall, is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. except on Thursdays, when the gallery stays open until 7 p.m. On Sundays the gallery is open from noon to 5 p.m. The gallery is closed Mondays and university holidays.

For more information on the installation, visit http://ricegallery.org or call 713-348-6069.

About Jeff Falk