An-My Lê was born in Saigon, Vietnam, in 1960. She fled Vietnam with her family in 1975 and eventually came to the United States. Her work is stunning for its attention to the transformation of natural landscapes violently transformed into battlefields. Projects such as her "29 Palms" (2003-2004) capture the re-enacted of a virtual Middle East war in the California desert. As PBS notes in its profile of Lê:
Suspended between the formal traditions of documentary and staged photography, Lê’s work explores the disjunction between wars as historical events and the ubiquitous representation of war in contemporary entertainment, politics, and collective consciousness.