My Le Thi’s poetic paintings and installations explore the connections and experiences in the past and in everyday life alongside the concepts of cultural identity. Thi seeks to communicate the differences and similarities of the human experience through the use of common elements such as seeds which symbolise migrations; masks and skeletons, which express identities; and nakedness and shoes, which express different cultures, places and times.

Transformation 2 references the collections of shoes and casts of bare feet that the artist produced in her sculptural installations. The central idea is of many people, many feet from different cultures, races and countries all walking the same earth, sharing the same aspirations.

Born in 1964 in the Central Highlands in South Vietnam, Thi was orphaned at the age of ten. She grew up in Buon Ma Thuot during the Vietnam War, and migrated to Australia in 1985. She studied Arts at the Northern Territory University in Darwin. She now works and lives in Sydney, across multiple media including installation and animated video. Her work has been exhibited both in Australia and Internationally, at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney and Artspace, Sydney. Her work has been used in the Schools Curriculum to explore issues of ancestry and identity, and as a case study foregrounding the contemporary practice of migrant Asian-Australian artists.


My Le Thi

  • Transformation 2
  • acrylic on canvas
  • 107 x 71 cms
    • UTS Art Collection, gift of Professor Peter Johnson through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program, 2001
    • Accession number: UTS2001.028