Việt Lê

Việt Lê

2022 CCSRE Mellon Arts Fellow
Việt Lê is an Associate Professor (History of Art and Visual Culture | Visual & Critical Studies) at California College of the Arts. An academic, artist, writer, and curator, Lê's  work centers on spiritualities, trauma, healing, and sexualities with a focus on Southeast Asia and its diasporas. Dr. Lê is the author of Return Engagements: Contemporary Art’s Traumas of Modernity and History in Sài Gòn and Phnom Penh (Duke University Press, 2021). The art book White Gaze is a collaboration with Latipa, 2021 CCSRE Mellon Arts Fellow (Candor Arts + Memory and Resistance Laboratory + Sming Sming Books, 2nd Edition, 2019).

Lê has presented their work throughout the world including at The Banff Centre, Bangkok Art & Cultural Center, Shanghai Biennale, Rio Gay Film Festival, the Smithsonian, among other venues. Lê curated  Charlie Don’t Surf! (Centre A, Vancouver, BC, 2005); and cocurated humor us (with Leta Ming and Yong Soon Min, Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, CA, 2008), among others. 

Lê's fellowship project is an experimental film/ installation; critical/ creative book project that centers Southeast Asian queer and transgender spirit mediums and visionaries by focusing on Cao Đài, a syncretic, egalitarian Vietnamese indigenous religion. It is Vit Nam’s third largest religion, currently with 6 million devotees in Cambodia, the United States, Vit Nam, Australia, and Europe. This project is disjunctured portrait of Lê's family, and by extension a portrait of Việt Nam and its overseas diasporas—refugees and locals reconnected through spirituality.

The experimental film short queries—and queers—the bounds of identity, nation and belonging through two interlinked stories, crossing space and time. The heart of these interwoven stories is about (re-)discovering ancestors, and communing with communities, both visible and invisible. Through multiple mediums,  links spirituality and sexualities as sites of healing and transmutation.

Follow Việt Lê on Facebook @vietle365 and Instagram @_vietle.