Explore Dinh Q. Lê’s Moving ‘Crossing the Farther Shore’ Installation

Diving into the latest exhibition from Vietnamese American fine arts photographer Dinh Q. Lê, Walley Films created this short doc to tell the story behind the beautiful art project Crossing the Farther Shore.

Incorporating Lê’s intriguing style of photography installations, Crossing the Farther Shore strings together thousands of photographs taken in Southern Vietnam between the 1940s and 1980s. Hand-stitching each photo together with string, Lê created a weaved sculpture of history from imagery of the daily and family life of Southern Vietnam.

Here’s a brief look at some of the beautiful images of Lê and his installation that Walley Films captured while shooting this short:



















Given the desire of the Northern Vietnamese communist government to wash out any trace of Southern Vietnam pre–1975, it’s a miracle any of these even survived, let alone in the numbers Lê managed to recover. But recovered they were, and in an attempt to forever seal these as pieces of history and art, rather than pieces of paper rotting away on a shelf, Lê brought them to life in this unique format.

The documentary comes in at just over six minutes, so it won’t take much time to watch, and your day will be richer for it. If you’d like to see the exhibition in person, it is on view at the Rice Gallery from now through August 28th; however, since most of us won’t make it to Texas any time soon, you can listen to the story behind how this project came to be and take in the installation as much as possible through the video and photos above.

Image credits: All photographs courtesy of Walley Films

  • nycpigeon718


  • Ed

    typo in your title there. “Farther” not “Father”

  • DLCade

    Thanks Ed! It’s been fixed.

  • Mark & Angela Walley

    Thank you so much for sharing our film!

  • Kelly Padgett

    This is absolutely fantastic. Im an American living here in Saigon now. I work in both photography here and filmmaking, and i have my own little side project, capturing the faces from all of the places that i go to, for work, for fun, etc. Vietnam is very much a part of my soul, from the muddy rice fields in Go Cong, and Soc Trang, to the mountains of Da Lat and Thai Nguyen, this exhibit stirs so many emotions for me. If the artist ever comes back to Vietnam, please contact me, i would love to sit with him and talk. Thank you for the wonderful video Mark and Angela, and Thank you Mr. Dinh Q. Le for this beautiful project.