An-My Lê

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An-My Lê
Born 1960 (age 56–57)
Nationality American
Occupation Professor
Known for Photography
Awards MacArthur Fellowship John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation

An-My Lê (born 1960, Saigon, Vietnam) is a Vietnamese American photographer, and professor at Bard College.[1] An-My Lê received her BAS and MS degrees from Stanford University and an MFA from Yale University. She is a 2012 MacArthur Foundation Fellow and has received numerous other awards including the Tiffany Comfort Foundation Fellowship (2010), the National Science Foundation Antarctic Artists and Writers Program Award (2007) and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship (1997).[2] Her work has been widely exhibited, with solo shows at the Baltimore Museum of Art; Museum aan de Stroom, Antwerp, Belgium; MK Gallery, Milton Keynes, UK; Dia, Beacon, New York; Henry Art Gallery, Seattle; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago; and MoMA PS1, New York. Lê is represented by Murray Guy Gallery in New York.[3] Her work is featured in the 2017 Whitney Biennial[4]


An-My Lê's photographs and films examine the impact, consequences, and representation of war. Whether in color or black-and-white, her pictures frame a tension between the natural landscape and its violent transformation into battlefields. Projects include "Viêt Nam" (1994–98), in which Lê’s memories of a war-torn countryside are reconciled with the contemporary landscape; "Small Wars" (1999–2002), in which Lê photographed and participated in Vietnam War reenactments in Virginia and North Carolina; and "29 Palms" (2003–04), in which United States Marines preparing for deployment play-act scenarios in a virtual Middle East in the California desert. These three projects were brought together in a monograph titled "Small Wars," published by Aperture.[5] Suspended between the formal traditions of documentary and staged photography, Lê’s work explores the disjunction between wars as historical events and the ubiquitous representation of war in contemporary entertainment, politics, and collective consciousness.[6]

In November 2014, her second book, Events Ashore, was published by Aperture. Events Ashore depicts a 9-year exploration of the US Navy working throughout the world. The project began when the artist was invited to photograph US naval ships preparing for deployment to Iraq, the first in a series of visits to battleships, humanitarian missions in Africa and Asia, training exercises, and scientific missions in the Arctic and Antarctic.[7]


An-My Lê was born in Saigon, Vietnam, in 1960. Lê fled Vietnam with her family as a teenager in 1975, the final year of the war, eventually settling in the United States as a political refugee. Lê received BAS and MS degrees in biology from Stanford University (1981, 1985) and an MFA from Yale University (1993).


  1. ^ "Bard College | Faculty". 2013-10-30. Retrieved 2013-11-06. 
  2. ^ "An-My Lê — MacArthur Foundation". Retrieved 2017-03-11. 
  3. ^ "An-My Lê Photography". Retrieved 26 July 2017. 
  4. ^ "Whitney Biennial 2017 | Whitney Museum of American Art". Retrieved 2017-03-31. 
  5. ^ "Small Wars". Retrieved 26 July 2017. 
  6. ^ "ART21 - PBS Programs - PBS". ART21 - PBS Programs - PBS. Retrieved 26 July 2017. 
  7. ^ "Events Ashore". Retrieved 26 July 2017. 

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