Modern Art: VNese Perspectives on the Helicopter War

The artist Dinh Q. Lê was born in Vietnam at the height of the American war there, in 1968.  He came to this country with his family ten years later; today he is an accomplished multi-media artist whose work often deals with the Vietnam War.

Lê’s “Projects 93: The Farmers and The Helicopters, ” which he created in 2006, is now on view at New York City’s famed Museum of Modern Art through January 24. The work, which opened June 30, consists of an installation made up of a three-channel video projected along a corridor-like gallery, along with a helicopter that was hand-built from recycled scrap parts by Le Van Danh, a farmer, and Tran Quoc Hai, a self-taught mechanic.

The fifteen-minute video offers recollections of the American war by people in Vietnam, interspresed with clips from Hollywood films and documentary footage. The interviews feature those who lived through the war talking about the ubiquitous American helicopters, along with two younger men who discuss present-day choppers used for a far more peaceful purpose, in farming.

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