Quiet Thoughts, Painting of Trang T Le
Art Space Vincennes’ Premier Exhibition
October 4 – November 9, 2013
Andrew Jendrzejewski, co-owner of Art Space Vincennes, found Trang T. Lè, an artist working in California, on the Internet when she asked for feedback on her web page. It happened that Lè was born in Na Trang, a town on the coast of the South China Sea near Cam Ranh Bay Air Force Base, the place from where Jendrzejewski left Vietnam. Lè was born just a few months later there. Her father was an officer at the Air Base. These coincidences became significantly meaningful for Lè as an artist. She made several of the paintings just for the show in Vincennes.
After the Americans left in 1973, the South Vietnamese continued to fight, but were inevitably swallowed up by the communists. As a two-year old, Lè remembers her awareness of the war around her and her family’s eventual flight from Na Trang to Saigon, as her home town crumbled behind. In a Saigon hotel, where they stayed, her father was abducted by two communist agents and taken to prison for five years. Returning from that camp after five years, Lè says, “He looked like a very old man.” Until he returned her mother and siblings had to make do for themselves. After her father was released, they escaped by a handmade boat into the South China Sea. After leaving sight of land, their motor broke down, at the mercy of the sea’s currents and drifting for some time, expecting to die. However, eventually a freighter rescued them and took them to Thailand, where they stayed in a camp for a year before being granted asylum in the United States.
Quiet Thoughts consisted of a group of large paintings that are the result of dealing with flashbacks that Lè experienced when the Iraq War began. She drew on her Buddhist background, using meditation to deal with her flashbacks (Gallery 1, Morning). She also relied on her observation of nature to begin creating metaphors for Mesopotamia (Gallery 3, Memories of Nature). She also intensely dealt directly with the deaths of American soldiers and civilians in Iraq (Gallery 4, 111978), logging each of the 111, 978 souls by name and representing them with a spiral circle in an enormous and beautiful seven panel mural, one panel of which ASV had the opportunity to show. Lè stated to Jendrzejewski, that the exhibition at Art Space Vincennes was pivotal for her, enabling to overcome her emotional pain and trauma from those wars and that she was ready to move forward.
Front of Art Space Vincennes
Main Street from ASV Property
Introduction to the Exhibition “QuietThoughts” in Hall way at Front Door
Gallery 1 “Morning”
Gift from the artist to ASV, a donated painting for auction by Ms. Le, displayed in the hallway for bids.
Gallery 3 “Memories of Nature”
Gallery 2 “111978”
Office/Gallery reserved for the work of the owners