born in saigon in 1960, an-my lê came to the united states as a political refugee in 1975.
in 1993 she completed an mfa in photography at yale university. between 1994 and 1998 she made several trips back to vietnam to discover and photograph her native country in peacetime. since 1999 an-my lê has explored the military conflicts that have framed the last half-century of american history: the war in vietnam and the current war in iraq. the artist approaches these events obliquely. instead of addressing her subject by creating reportage images of actual events, she photographs places where war is psychologically anticipated, processed, and relived: vietnam war re-enactments in virginia and north carolina; the us marines’ training in the “virtual” afghanistan and iraq of the californian desert.
an-my lê’s solo exhibitions include new photography 13, moma, new york; small wars, ps1/moma contemporary art center. since 2006 a traveling solo exhibition, small wars: photographs by an-my lê, has been shown at risd museum, providence; museum of contemporary photography, chicago; the national media museum, bradford, uk, the henry art gallery, seattle; sf moma, san francisco; contemporary arts center, cincinnati; johnson museum, cornell university; and boise art museum, idaho. from september 2006 to september 2008 her series, trap rock, was on view at dia: beacon. a large group of her series events ashore was shown in 2008 in on the subject of war at the barbican art gallery, london.