The Vietnamese artist Danh Vo was born in 1975, the year Saigon fell and the Vietnam War ended. Four years later, in 1979, he and his parents fled his native country in a homemade boat. Saved at sea by a Danish Maersk shipping freighter, they settled in Denmark. Cultural displacement, migration, and belonging are themes that run deep in Vo’s work. “In order to examine the present,” he explains, “one must understand the past: the past that determines one’s present.” Vo’s conceptual installations bring collective history face to face with autobiographical memories and personal belongings. Fragmentation and recomposition are at the heart of his practice. In this exhibition these recompositions—made of photographs, found objects, and text—are placed across a white gallery space. They speak of colonialism, violence, and power. —E.C.
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