Danh Vo and Yuka Uematsu, moderated by Andrew Maerkle

SOUTH SOUTH Talk

On 30 April 2021 art writer Andrew Maerkle moderated a conversation between artist Danh Vo and curator Yuka Uematsu about the exhibition Danh Vo oV hnaD held at the National Museum of Art Osaka from June 2 to October 11, 2020. In this talk the three revisit how the pandemic shaped the realization of the exhibition and do a virtual walkthrough of the show.

Installation view, “Danh Vo oV hnaD” NMAO 2020.
Photo by Kazuo Fukunaga.

Installation view, “Danh Vo oV hnaD” NMAO 2020.
Photo by Kazuo Fukunaga.

Installation view, “Danh Vo oV hnaD” NMAO 2020.
Photo by Kazuo Fukunaga.

Danh Vo

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With an openness to personal relationships and fortuitous encounters, Danh Vo’s projects emerge via objects and images that have accrued meaning in the world, whether through their former ownership, their proximity to specific events, or their currency as universal icons. His work becomes an expanding and diversifying series of experiments, questioning what happens if he brings one set of elements together, then another, and another. Rather than creating a pluralist landscape for its own sake, this approach is driven by a profound desire to sift through the layers that inform our present. Power, history, eroticism, personal biography, imperial dissolution and globalist expansion are all in play. The Vo family escaped Vietnam to Denmark in 1979, and the artist’s work embodies the shifting and precarious nature of contemporary life. Vo imagines a world for the artist unbound by obligations to state institutions, social norms and grand humanist projects.

Born in 1975, Vo studied at KADK—The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Denmark and at the Städelschule in Frankfurt, Germany. He was awarded with the Hugo Boss Prize in 2012 and the Blauorange Kunstpreis by the Deutsche Volksbanken und Raiffeisenbanken in 2007. His most important exhibitions include the National Gallery of Art, Osaka (2020); South London Gallery, London (2019); M+, Hong Kong (2018); Casa Luis Barragán, Mexico City (2018); Take My Breath Away, Guggenheim Museum, New York, and SMK, Copenhagen, (2018); Ng Teng Fong Roof Garden Commission series, National Gallery Singapore (2016–17); Palacio de Cristal del Retiro, Madrid (2015); and I M U U R 2 (Hugo Boss Prize), Guggenheim Museum, New York (2013). Vo participated in the international art exhibition at the 55th (2013) and 58th (2019) editions of the Venice Biennale, and represented Denmark at the 56th Venice Biennale (2015) with the exhibition Mothertongue.

He lives in Mexico City and is currently working on a farm-housing project outside of Berlin in Güldenhof.

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Yuka Uematsu

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Yuka Uematsu is Chief Curator of the National Museum of Art, Osaka and previously worked as Chief Curator at Marugame Genichiro-Inokuma Museum of Contemporary Art in Japan. She has organized numerous contemporary art exhibitions, including Danh Vo oV hnaD (2020) at NMAO, They Do Not Understand Each Other (2020) at Tai Kwun Contemporary in Hong Kong (co-curated with Dr. June Yap, Singapore Art Museum), 40th Anniversary Exhibition—Travelers: Stepping into the Unknown (2018) at NMAO, Yasumasa Morimura, Wolfgang Tillmans, Anri Sala, Miwa Yanagi, Pipilotti Rist, Marlene Dumas and others. She was appointed the commissioner of the Japan Pavilion at 54th Venice Biennale, presenting Tabaimo, and the commissioner of Japan at the 13th Bangladesh Biennale, presenting Tomoko Yoneda and Yoshihiro Suda. Uematsu was awarded the 11th Western Art Foundation Prize in Japan for organizing Wolfgang Tillmans exhibition at NMAO.

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Andrew Maerkle

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Andrew Maerkle is a writer, editor, and translator based in Tokyo. He is Deputy Editor of the online publication ART iT | International Edition, and a contributor to international publications including frieze, Artforum, and Art & Australia. From 2006 to 2008, he was Deputy Editor of ArtAsiaPacific magazine in New York, and one of the creators of the annual Almanac edition. He teaches in the Graduate School of Global Arts at Tokyo University of the Arts. From 2015 to 2018, he led the seminar and publishing project Discourse Lab for the alternative art education initiative MAD (Making Art Different), run by Arts Initiative Tokyo.

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Top: Mus re officillupta non preri ut oditibere, quaecab orerum remod ut essequis antia quaeperumqui officiet earum
res uaeperumqui officiet earum res
Bottom: Mus re officillupta non preri ut oditibere, quaecab orerum remod ut essequis antia quaeperumqui officiet
earum res

Mus re officillupta non preri ut oditibere, quaecab orerum remod ut essequis antia
quaeperumqui officiet earum res

Mus re officillupta non preri ut oditibere, quaecab orerum remod ut essequis antia
quaeperumqui officiet earum res

CREDITS

Images courtesy of the National Museum of Art Osaka.

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