Three works, untitled (2021), Untitled (2020), and Untitled (2012-2022), by Vietnamese visual artist Danh Vo were featured at S.E.A. Focus during Singapore Art Week. Southeast Asia is home to a vibrant and dynamic contemporary art scene, and S.E.A. Focus is at the forefront of showcasing the best in talent. This curated exhibition brings together a selection of the finest artists and galleries from across the region, offering a glimpse into the diverse and exciting world of Southeast Asian contemporary art. S.E.A. Focus serves as a meeting point for artistic vision and energy, providing a platform for cultural exchange and dialogue about the art of Southeast Asia.
Danh Vo’s life experiences have provided him with a diverse range of perspectives to draw upon as he examines questions of significance and purpose in his art. He has consistently explored how contemporary art can shed light on the relationship between art and life. In a recent interview, the artist discussed his interest in the concept of “geological time” in contrast to the scale of biological time that humans experience. This contrast provides a point of entry for his project, which consists of three works that take the viewer on a journey through time, from the Roman Empire to the rise of Modernity in the 19th and 20th centuries, and on to the present day. The forms and materiality of these sculptures are derived from the combination of the collective consciousness of different periods of time and the changes in techniques that occurred during them.
The ideological evolution is deeply embedded in the formal characteristics of these sculptures. As a result, the viewer is led into a labyrinth of time and space, seeking direction amidst the complex relationships that humans have constructed between bodies, ideas, ideologies, and techniques. To Danh Vo, the most shareable public space is located within the physical body of each individual. When viewed together, these sculptures create a powerful momentum that forms an expanding field and a distinctive public space that invites the viewer to contemplate, confront and explore the hidden dimensions of their lives. If each individual is able to grasp some of the various aspects of this invitation, then we can all gain insight into the artist’s unique vision of the meaning of freedom.
Photography by Darren Soh