An-My Lê

Between Two Rivers/Giữa hai giòng sông/Entre deux rivières

Nov 5, 2023–Mar 16, 2024


An-My Lê. High School Students Protesting Gun Violence, Washington Square Park, New York City, from the series Silent General. 2018. Inkjet print, 40 × 56 1/2" (101.6 × 143.5 cm). © 2022 An-My Lê. Image courtesy of the artist
  • MoMA, Floor 3, 3 East The Robert B. Menschel Galleries

For 30 years, the photographs of artist An-My Lê have engaged the complex fictions that inform how we justify, represent, and mythologize warfare and other forms of conflict. Lê does not take a straightforward photojournalistic approach to depicting combat. Rather, with poetic attention to politics and landscape, she meditates on the meaning of perpetual violence, war’s environmental impact, and the significance of diaspora. “Being a landscape photographer,” she has said, “means creating a relationship between various categories—the individual within a larger construct such as the military, history, and culture.”

An-My Lê: Between Two Rivers/Giữa hai giòng sông/Entre deux rivières is the first exhibition to present Lê’s powerful photographs alongside her forays into film, video, textiles, and sculpture. Never-before-seen embroideries—some large scale, others the size of a laptop screen—and rarely shown photographs from her Delta and Gabinetto series explore the relationship between mass media, gender, labor, and violence. And an immersive installation created especially for the exhibition attests to the artist’s long-standing consideration of the cinematic dimensions of photography and war.

Born in Vietnam in 1960, Lê came to the United States in 1975, after the fall of Saigon, as a political refugee. The two rivers in the exhibition’s title refer to the Mekong and Mississippi river deltas, to Vietnam and the United States. The phrase also gestures toward other subjects that Lê has inflected with her own experiences of war and displacement, from the Seine, to the Hudson River, to the Mexican-American border along the Rio Grande. It is a metaphor that invites viewers to reflect on the circularity of time and history, the layering of disparate geographies, and the intimacies that paradoxically grow out of conflict.

Organized by Roxana Marcoci, The David Dechman Senior Curator and Acting Chief Curator of Photography; with Caitlin Ryan, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Photography.

Leadership support for the exhibition is provided by the Noel and Harriette Levine Endowment and by the William Randolph Hearst Endowment Fund.

Generous funding is provided by the Alice L. Walton Foundation, Agnes Gund, and by The International Council of The Museum of Modern Art.

Major funding for the publication is provided by the John Szarkowski Publications Fund.


  • An-My Lê: Between Two Rivers Exhibition catalogue, Hardcover, 184 pages


Installation images

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