The South London Gallery presents the first major solo exhibition in London by internationally-acclaimed Danish-Vietnamese artist Danh Vo. It will be the first solo show to span the Main Gallery space and the Fire Station building. The exhibition will also involve projects in the Fire Station Kitchen, siting an outdoor work on Pelican housing estate where the SLG has a long-established relationship with residents, and the transformation of Art Block, the SLG’s permanent art space for children on Sceaux Gardens estate. Central to the concept of the show will be ideas around plurality, with the artist working across these multiple spaces, using a variety of working methods and collaborating with numerous different people in the course of its creation, be they his father, friend, lover or professor, his students, technicians or other people he encounters along the way.
The exhibition will continue Danh Vo’s largely conceptual practice in which he weaves together archival fragments and personal references, often evoking experiences of migration and integration to destabilise the embedded structures of legitimacy within citizenship and identification. The Japanese-American sculptor, Isamu Noguchi (1904-88), considered hybridity to be the core of his identity, the method and subject of his work, and strove to create something universal through bringing together the natural and the manmade. He has been a hugely influential figure for Danh Vo, his work being a guideline throughout Vo’s practice, and never more so than in the conception of this expansive exhibition.
Danh Vo lives and works in Berlin and Mexico City. Emerging from personal relationships and fortuitous encounters, Vo’s projects take their final form as objects and images that have accrued shifting layers of meaning in the world, whether through their former ownership, their proximity to specific events, or their currency as universal icons. Vo’s works have been exhibited worldwide at institutions including in 2018 alone at the Guggenheim, New York; Statens Museum for Kunst (SMK), Copenhagen, Denmark; M+ Museum, Hong Kong; CAPC-Musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux, France. He previously exhibited at Palacio de Cristal, Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain, 2015; Museo Jumex, Mexico City, Mexico, 2014; Musée d’art modern de la Ville de Paris, France, 2013; The Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois, USA, 2012; and Kunsthalle Basel, Switzerland, 2009. In 2015, he won the Arken Art Prize, and in 2013 the Hugo Boss Prize from the Guggenheim Foundation. He represented Denmark at the 2015 Venice Biennale.