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Exhibition shows perspectives of life of overseas Vietnamese in Germany
Jenna Duong 23:05, 2024/01/03
The vibrant photos and clips by the two artists give audiences a close-up view of the contemporary life of the Vietnamese community living thousands of miles away from their homeland.

An exhibition on the Vietnamese community in Germany, entitled "The Return", will be opened at the Manzi Exhibition Space in Hanoi from the 8th to the 28th of January.

"Separation and Reunion" became one of the Le Brothers' main themes, as art became a channel for them to reveal individual history, memories and the past with many layers and unknown meanders.

 The Le Brothers, Thanh Le Ngoc and Hai Le Duc, are known for their performances and video works highlighting the resemblance metaphor. Photo: Goethe Institut 

During their two-month stay in Germany early last year, the Le brothers met and talked with many people from the Vietnamese expatriate community in Halle, Berlin, Munich, Frankfurt and Leipzig, the major German cities.

They come from different historical periods and backgrounds: international students, guest workers in the 70s and 80s, migrant workers after Doi Moi in the 1990s, second-generation young people born and raised in Germany, and other Vietnamese students at German universities in recent years.

This visual exhibition is a multimedia installation consisting of hundreds of photographic documents selected from more than 1,500 images and a video of the twin artists interviewing Vietnamese people in Germany.

The photos, printed in different sizes and hung on large nets in the gallery, create a multi-layered visual installation. They are separated and superimposed, like layers of memory that time can hardly erase, creating a colourful collage panorama of diaspora.

 The Return exhibition poster.

"The Return" is the latest art project by the Le Brothers, following their previous one "The Bridge" (2010), a series of on-site performances from the Hien Luong Bridge that divided Vietnam into two regions, North and South, to the North-South Korean border at Panmunjom and the Berlin Wall that separated Germany for almost half a century.

Since then, "separation and reunion" has been one of the twin artists' main themes for over a decade, as art has become a channel to reveal individual histories, memories and the past with its many layers and unknown meanders.

The Le brothers, Thanh Le Ngoc and Hai Le Duc, were born in Quang Binh province in 1975 and graduated from the Hue College of Arts in 2000.

The twin artists are known for their performances and video works highlighting the metaphor of resemblance. The artists have exhibited and performed at internationally renowned art events and venues, including B3 Film Biennale Frankfurt (2023), The Nord Galerie in Berlin (2018), and Vietnam Eye in START at Saatchi Gallery in London (2017), among others.

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