Derrik Van Nimwegen

Passage at the Wall, 1995
oil on mahogany panel
(16 panels 18" x 12" each)
Detail of Passage at the Wall

Maya Lin's wall list the names of those who died in Vietnam in chronological order from the beginning of the conflict to its end. At its beginning the wall is low recording only a few names that mark the early days of the war. The wall grows in height as the war intensified with more and more names reflecting the increased rate of dying. The wall becomes lower near the end of the conflict as the death rate declined.

"As I started along the descending path by the wall's granite face, I began to hear the etched names call out. I did not need to read the names; they simply came into my mind. As the wall grew next to me along the path, the sound of the names grew in intensity within me. The calling of the names, that began softly and gently, became a nightmare of screams, cries and battle sounds. When the wall diminished in height, the sounds also diminished and finally stopped."


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