"Noguchi for Danh Vo: Counterpoint" is organized as a unique dialogue between two artists: Isamu Noguchi and Danh Vo.
The exhibition articulates this conversation through a range of works by Noguchi that spans almost five decades, and that includes drawings, industrial design objects, and sculptures in stone, metal, and other materials. Vo’s contribution to the exhibition consists not only of select examples of his practice produced between 2010 and 2018, but also of building a bridge between two institutions and two cities—M+ in Hong Kong and The Noguchi Museum in New York. The exhibition is structured as a counterpoint, a musical term used to describe two separate melodies that interweave and complement each other while maintaining their respective independence. Noguchi and Vo here carry separate melodies, but their voices interweave at certain points in the spaces of the exhibition.
Migration, cultural history and identity are key themes addressed in "Danh Vo: Take My Breath Away," which comes to SMK – Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen, Denmark, directly from the Guggenheim Museum in New York. Roberta Smith of The New York Times hailed the Guggenheim exhibit "an inspiring midcareer survey," consisting of items that entwine "histories of love, loss, power, violence — and the post-colonial anger of belonging to a culture long on the receiving end of history."
Danh Vo's "We the people (detail)," 2011, a replica of the Statue of Liberty's cladding can now be seen at the arrivals hall at Porto Airport in Portugal. The purpose of this work was not to build a new statue but, in a gesture of appropriation, to reconstruct its individual elements and to scatter them across different collections throughout the world.
Following a tradition of site-specific projects created since 2015, the museum has invited Danh Vo for a new commission. Vo has conceived a large-scale sculptural project underlying once again his ability to articulate personal and collective histories, while bringing together a network of partners sharing skills and assets for the sake of a common production.
“Take My Breath Away,” Danh Vo’s first comprehensive survey in the United States, opens at the Guggenheim on Feb. 9. It will include works from the past 15 years and new projects created for the exhibition.
Vo’s installations dissect the power structures, cultural forces, and private desires that shape our experience of the world. His work addresses themes of religion, colonialism, capitalism, and artistic authorship, but refracts these sweeping subjects through intimate personal narratives—what the artist calls “the tiny diasporas of a person’s life.”
Danh Vo presents a series of compelling new sculptures as part of his first outdoor installation in the Ng Teng Fong Roof Garden Gallery at the National Gallery Singapore. Vo’s work often draws upon personal experience to explore broader historical, social or political themes, particularly those relating to the history of Vietnam at the close of the 20th century. A continuation of his existing practice, this installation explores issues of cross-cultural identity and the definition of cultural values.