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Lê Văn Tài Lê Văn Tài i(A24079 works by)
Born: Established: 1943
Southeast Asia, South and East Asia, Asia,
Gender: Male
Arrived in Australia: 1984
Heritage: Vietnamese
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Lê Văn Tài was born in Quang Tri province in South Vietnam and was living in a refugee camp by the age of eight. Lê Văn Tài's father was a goldsmith and his parents encouraged him to pursue his artistic interests. Although his schooling was intermittent Lê Văn Tài was accepted into the Art Decoration School in Binh-Duong province in 1960. When he had completed his study there he was accepted by the National Art School of Hue in central Vietnam. Lê Văn Tài became a teacher of Applied Art in Hue but, after the city was captured by the Communists in 1968, he came under suspicion as a C.I.A. agent and after eight years he moved to Danang and concentrated on his painting.

Coming into increasing conflict with the government Lê Văn Tài became a 'boat person' in 1981 and found himself in the Hong Kong Refugee Camp for three years. Here he began to learn English and quickly started writing poetry in his new language. He also continued to exhibit his paintings.

Once in Australia Lê Văn Tài completed a Fine Arts major at the Melbourne College of Advanced Education as part of a Bachelor of Arts degree in multicultural studies. His illustrations have appeared many times in Outrider and he has had a number of exhibitions of his work in Europe as well as in Australia, including one with five other artists at the Caulfield Gallery in 1990.

Lê Văn Tài has been made an honorary life member of Melbourne's Living Museum of the West and has been a member of the Victorian Association of Multicultural Writers. His work was read on ABC TV in 1988 and on SBS TV in 1989. He read at Fitzroy City Library in 1988, for the 1988 Spoleto Writer's Festival in 1988 and at the Footscray Community Arts Centre between 1984 and 1989.

Major sources of information: Empty Arms - Surrounded by Warm Breath (1987) and Australian Writing Now (1988).

Most Referenced Works


  • Author writes in these languages: VIETNAMESE, ENGLISH
Last amended 28 Apr 2010 11:46:53
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