Where I Work: Dinh Q. Lê
Dinh Q. Lê’s four-story home-studio is a 25-minute drive from the center of Ho Chi Minh City. It also happens to be a five-minute walk from the home of his aunt, who taught Lê the grass-mat weaving techniques that he still uses today in his woven photographs. Given his American upbringing and his Vietnamese heritage, Lê has always been at a crossroads. His elaborate weavings combine evocative Vietnamese and Western war images, tracing both memory and history. At his studio one finds heaps of paraphernalia, an extensive hodgepodge of stockpiled boxes and strewn supplies. What began as a simple endeavor to find everyday furniture for his home has become a borderline hoarding and antique-collecting habit, turning Lê into the artist-historian hybrid he is today. Buried beneath piles of clutter are antique side tables, ornate urns and other unexpected treasures.