Talk with Dinh Q. Lê

September 2022

‘Deconstructing Agent Orange – History as artistic materials, medium, and testimonies’

To continue the Nguyen Art Foundation’s satellite public programs in association with the exhibition ‘Illuminated Curiosities’, our event this September brings in a perspective from social science, namely history, and how it serves as an inspiration and testimony for art.

Set in 1998, when the Vietnamese government was pursuing an international lawsuit against companies that were mired in disseminating Agent Orange during the Vietnam War, Dinh Q. Lê staged a pop-up exhibition inside a kiosk in the Saigon Trade Center (now defunct), filled with miniatures, stuffed toys, dolls, and baby clothes – except they all have two heads.

This sets the stage for a critical pursuit into a tumultuous chapter of the nation’s history, where war repercussions are seen through the lens of both art and socio-historical research. Dinh Q. Lê will guide us through the ups and downs of his ‘Damaged Gene’ series, and its successors ‘Lotus Land’ and ‘Pure Land’, where histories become the materials and medium that bear testimonies to the bygone, in order to emphasize the relationship between aesthetics and history, art and social sciences, reality and representation.

For more information about our exhibition ‘Illuminated Curiosities’, please visit: