Danh Vo | the artist




The artist Danh Vo
Born 1975, Vietnam.
Lives and works in Berlin, Germany.

Style and technique of the artist: Berlin Biennial, Documenta Kassel, Gwangju Biennale, Singapore Biennale, Installation art, Conceptual Art, Manifesta, Hugo Boss Prize,

Danh Vo was born in Vietnam in 1975 and grew up in Denmark. He studied at the Royal Art Academy in Copenhagen and at Städelschule in Frankfurt.


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Dahn Vo
Danh Vo investigates the invisible boundaries between the public and the private, and the possibility of their porousness. He undermines the institutional (he curated an exhibition of works by well-known artists in his parents’ house in Copenhagen) as well as the personal (he has married and then divorced several people, augmenting his name with theirs but not sharing a private romantic life). He has collaborated on a project with Tobias Rehberger without declaring his co-authorship, and stolen an idea from his artist boyfriend for his own funding application…

Dahn Vo
Vo is a Danish citizen, but for him this fact in itself is remarkable. Whereas the rights granted by a nation are normally determined by birth, Vo’s immigration to Denmark from Vietnam was entirely coincidental, his family having been fortunate enough to be picked up in a refugee boat by a Danish tanker obligated to take them back to its port of origin. His continual use of this anecdote can be taken as a general introduction to the themes which Vo addresses in his work: the definition of sovereignty, the naming which this entails, and the refugee as a model for the “avant-garde” of the social body…

Dahn Vo interview
The beginning of the Name Project actually came from a mix up with my own name. In many Asian countries the family name precedes your ‘first’ name. When I came to Denmark, the bureaucracy couldn’t handle this, so what happened was that my family name became my first name and my first name my family name. My middle name ended up as my very first name on the official documents, which is rather funny, because my middle name actually means just that: ‘middle’…

Dahn Vo
Where the Lions are

Dahn Vo
Danh Vo’s conceptual practice exists in both tangible and intangible forms. As an artist concerned not only with cultural identity, but categorization in general, Vo’s practice varies from a project of marrying and divorcing in order to add names onto his, to incorporating the grave marker of his grandmother on which her Vietnamese name is spelled in Latin letters on a crucifix. Lately, the artist has delved deep into the notion of appropriation, combining his experiences with others…



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