"My work [has] always been about the duality in culture and identity, about the relationship of my family and myself in relation to the culture (American) we have adopted. I am always fascinated to see how my identity and my family’s identity are changing due to the fact that we are living in the United States. I find it fascinating to be here in Vietnam and [see] a whole culture going through a transformation. Even more amazing to me is that Western culture is having a very strong influence in the direction Vietnam’s identity is shaping. There will be a culture war taking place here in Vietnam in the next couple of years. Right now everyone is busy enjoying the new freedom and making a lot of money. It will be interesting to see the tradition will remain and what tradition will [replace]. But replace by what? A western tradition or a new hybrid tradition that is a combination of both cultures?
Technically, Vietnam [offers] an amazing variety of weaving styles and techniques for me to learn. Through my traveling from the North to the South, there [are] many diverse weaving styles and techniques that exist in many small villages throughout the country. Technically, I am very limited in my knowledge of weaving. I learned how to weave when I was about 8 or 9. What I learned then and how I use it now in my work is extremely simple [compared] to some amazing weaving styles and techniques I have seen on this trip. I need to spend at least two weeks in each of these villages to learn all these new techniques. I am also told that ethnic groups up in the highland are also master of weaving from cloth to basket. It would be a wonderful experience if I can spend more time to learn and to collaborate with these master weavers. Almost all of them have been weaving since they were six or seven year old. They have been weaving generation after generation. Can you imagine what I could learn from them and what the result would be if I collaborate with them?
Vietnam is where I need to be. I need to spend more time here. I need to be here."
Excerpt from Dinh Le's Artist Statement, Ho Chi Minh City, 1995