Crossing the Farther Shore
In Crossing the Farther Shore, Lê incorporates photographs taken in Vietnam during the 1940s-1980s, with the majority dating to the pre-Vietnam War era before 1975. The images are those that might fill a familys photo album: portraits, scenic vistas, birthdays, and holidays. Lê has collected pre-1975 Vietnam photographs for years, finding them in antique stores and second-hand shops and wondering, why are there so many abandoned photographs? Lê considers them to be an important record documenting the everyday lives of Southern Vietnamese people – how they dressed, looked, and felt. Such photos are one of the few records of South Vietnam that have escaped from the Northern Vietnamese communist government’s systematic effort to erase the pre-1975 existence of the South.