Vancouver International Centre for Contemporary Asian Art


Le Brothers (Duc Hái and Ngoç Thanh Lê)
Curated by Makiko Hara
Presented in association with LIVE! Performance Art Biennale

September 11 – October 15, 2015
Opening reception: Friday, September 11 | 7pm
Gallery hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 11am-6pm

Underlying is a 3 channel video installation by Le Brothers that according to the artists depict “a journey to the past told through an imaginary war that takes place in the water. The American war ended before we were born. However, its impacts on Hue, the city we are living in, are so remarkable. During the war, many people sacrificed their lives to protect their homeland. Through art, and through a spiritual connection with the flow of water, we try to express our gratitude to those who gave us the peaceful life.”

Le Brothers are known for their performance and video work exploring the tensions and conflicts between “North and South” by embodying colonial history and the last century’s wars. Their unique approach to history, identity and the interpretation of the past in Underlying results in a presentation of unforgettable events in a refined and dignified manner that invites reflection, while accelerating the viewers’ understanding and provoking a deeper respect for culture and custom.

Born in 1975, and based in Hue, Vietnam, Le Brothers (Duc Hái and Ngoç Thanh Lê) are identical twins, and have performed and exhibited locally and internationally, including the 2013 Singapore Biennale, Palais de Tokyo, and at the DMZ Gang HWA in Korea. In 2014 they went on a film screening tour that included New York University, Brown University, Yale University and MIT. As founders and directors of Vietnam’s first independent contemporary art gallery and artist in residency program New Space Art Foundation in Hue, Vietnam, Le brothers have developed a dynamic local and global artist network since 2008.

Underlying at Centre A marks their first North American solo exhibition. During their residency in Vancouver, Le Brothers will make a dynamic contribution to the discussions and debates about contemporary art practice especially here in the context of this region’s political and cultural dialogues, linking the Pacific coastline and Indigenous territories with Asia. For the finale of their residency, Le Brothers will make a new performance work for the finale of LIVE! Performance Art Biennale in Vancouver.



Artist Talk: How We Became Artists and How We Run The New Space Foundation
Saturday, September 12 | 4-6pm
Centre A: 229 East Georgia Street, Coast Salish Territories/ Vancouver
Free Admission

In this talk, Centre A invites Le Brothers to speak about their experience for running New Space Art Foundation in Hue, Vietnam. This will be the inaugural edition of an annual series of talks that will highlight artist run culture in Asia in occasion of SWARM, where individuals and institutions engaged in artist run culture in Vancouver will have an opportunity to build networks and gain insight from colleagues across the Pacific.

Public Lecture: In Conversation with Le Brothers: The Role of Artists in Post War Contemporary Vietnam
Wednesday, September 16 | 7-9pm
Room HC 1600 Harbour Centre Simon Fraser University
515 West Hasting St. Coast Salish Territory/ Vancouver
Free Admission

Speakers: Le Brothers
Introduced by Naomi Sawada (Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery)
Moderated by Makiko Hara

In this public lecture, Le brothers will present recent video works and discuss about the role of artists in post war contemporary society in Vietnam. Through this conversation, the public will be offered opportunity to explore South East Asian artist cultures with the subtext of understanding their particular socio-political and economic situations surrounding the contemporary art practices.

Performance: Story in A Story Le Brothers with collaborators
Saturday, September 27 | 7-8pm
VIVO Media Arts Centre: 2625 Kaslo Street, Vancouver
Organized by LIVE 2015 Vancouver’s Biennale Performance Art Celebration

For more information, please check the LIVE website and Facebook page for updates.



“Rencontre avec le directeur du Centre A, Tyler Russell”, ICI Radio-Canada, Marie Villeneuve, September 18, 2015.


Underlying is presented in association with LIVE! Performance Art Biennale. “In Conversation with Le Brothers: The Role of Artists in Post War Contemporary Vietnam” is co-organized with LIVE! and the Faculty of Communication, Art and Technology’ s Centre for Policy Studies on Culture and Communities, and the Institute for Humanities at Simon Fraser University, and the Asian Canadian Studies Society.

Centre A acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts’ Visiting Foreign Artists program in making this project possible.