the power of individual histories
Extravaganzza had the opportunity to attend the opening solo exhibition „Take My Breath Away“ by Danh Vo at the National Art gallery of Denmark. When this prominent artist ist mentioned, his biography is usually emphasized. This seems to be one of those exceptional life stories that art institutions insist on highlighting, apparently due to marketing reasons but this case is for us different. In his work you can feel a personal story behind his pieces. Something transcendental.
Danh Vo and his family were rescued in the middle of the Pacific, after they fled from Vietnam in a boat to the U.S. in 1979. They actually ended up in Denmark when Dahn was just four years old. This changed his destiny forever. His history maybe similar to many others where migration is a matter of fact, but truth is every biography is an exception.
At the exhibition many of his personals belongings have been combined with the „big event", covering the last fifteen years of his artistic production and bringing together other pieces created especially for this occasion.
Mega-installations have being placed in two rooms on the ground floor where pieces from different periods generate narrative cycle species, some related to the nation and other related to the family and the artist´s life.
Danh´s work manages to communicate a constant state of confrontation as seen between his intimacy and the spectators; between a mixture of „macro and micro“ elements and the assembly between common daily objects and objects from his „own world“. Experiences and memories that are alternated with topics such as emigration, colonialism, religion or globalization. This dual disposition of different narratives makes us remember the magnitude of the events and the major impact on individuality and identity.
Danh Vo studied art at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Denmark and the Städelschule in Frankfurt. He was recognized with the Hugo Boss Prize in 2012 and the Blauorange Kunstpreis by the Deutsche Volksbanken and Raiffeisenbanken. In 2009 he was nominated for the Nationalgalerie prize for Young Art in Germany.
By Andrés Alvarez