About Danh Vo
The Danish-Vietnamese artist Danh Vo has embarked on a project on a trans-boundary scale. A project where his own life story, dreams, and desires are embedded in world history.
Fleeing post-war chaos
Danh Vo was born in the south of Vietnam in 1975. When he was four, his family fled the chaos of the post-war years in a boat built by his father. They were hoping to reach the USA, but instead they were picked up in the Pacific by a Danish cargo vessel.
In Denmark the family became Danish citizens and have lived here ever since – except for Danh Vo, the restless younger brother, who is constantly travelling and currently lives in Basel.
A beacon for immigrants upon reaching the USA
Danh Vo is interested in objects that are central to the self-image of the Western world and which commemorate or represent essential events or issues from world history.
The Statue of Liberty is certainly one of the key symbols of US identity and iconography. The sculpture is the symbol of the newborn democratic nation, and it was the first sight greeting generations of immigrants upon their arrival to the Promised Land.
More about the Statue of Liberty and Danh Vo’s exhibition We the People
Danh Vo’s own dream about the USA
Danh Vo’s own Vietnamese family actually wanted to go to the USA. Throughout his life, Vo’s father has nurtured a dream about the USA, American values, and US consumer goods. The work is typical of Danh Vo, who often focuses on the points where personal history, dreams, and desires are embedded in world history in general. He dismantled a familiar monument in a project on a trans-boundary scale; he wished, with us as fellow travellers, to explore what happens to it when it is split into fragments and moves around.
Danh Vo is a graduate from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen and the Städelschule in Frankfurt. In recent years he has won great acclaim on the international art scene and already has a range of prestigious exhibitions to his credit.