Dinh Q. Lê has always felt a part of his life was missing. He was 10 years old the night that he and his family fled the Khmer Rouge-occupied border town of Ha Tien in Vietnam in 1978. They left everything behind, including family photographs.
Mr. Lê, now 44 and a prominent artist – he was the first Vietnamese name to hold a solo show at the Museum of Modern Art in New York – spent almost a year in a Thai refugee camp before being repatriated to Los Angeles. He has since relocated to Ho Chi Minh City, where for the past 15 years he has collected discarded black-and-white snapshots sold in large quantities at antique stores in the city.
“A part of me is hoping that when my family escaped, these photos were saved and somehow left in these shops,” he says.
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