10 Chancery Lane Gallery is pleased to present Skin On Skin, an exhibition of new work by internationally acclaimed Vietnamese-American artist Dinh Q. Lê.
This new series of photo-weavings explore the role that the legalization of the internet in Vietnam since 1997 has played on the sexual revolution within the country. Witnessing the availability of the internet since the 1990s and the increasingly ease of access to adult themed sites, Lê likens a direct correlation to Vietnam’s sexual liberation and a change in the society’s moral attitude toward sexuality to these sites.
Lê explains, “To own, to show, to shoot pornography is not allowed in Vietnam. But curiously, none of the major international pornography websites are blocked. Perhaps, it was decided that it is best to allow the access of porn to keep the people busy rather than thinking too much. With a blind eye to enforcing the anti-pornography law, everyone in Vietnam had access to pornography out of curiosity, it thus had completely changed society’s moral attitude toward sexuality. There aren’t anymore the same stigmas of virginity before marriage and the gay community’s sexual practices also became more open, more active, and more accepting all because of what they see in pornography on the net.”
Lê wanted to touch on this subject more than ten years ago, however photo labs refused to print the imagery even in the name of “art.” Moreover, having his own printer allowed him to surpass this barrier. Lê ascertains that this body of work, Skin On Skin, is a celebration of the sexual revolution in Vietnam via the pornography that is widely available on the net to Vietnamese.
Dinh Q. Lê has been making photo-weavings for over two and half decades. Having learned as a child traditional grass-matt weaving he transforms them into tapestries of photographic imagery that intertwines subjects into a visual interplay. The works take time to fully grasp the imagery through the weaving process. The result is a captivating and intricate collage of multiple layers.
Dinh Q. Lê lives in Vietnam and holds an MFA in photography from the School of Visual Arts in New York. His work has been exhibited at and collected by major institutions and international exhibitions including: Museum of Modern Art, New York; Carnegie Museum, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation, Sydney, Australia; MoMA PS1, Long Island City, New York; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, Illinois; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas and the Asia Society, New York, among many others. He is the co-founder of Sàn Art in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, where he has been based for the past nearly three decades.