Untitled (A-Z without J) | Danh Vo

Reported by Jia Wen

I initially felt that any object can be a form of art as long as it is presented nicely. However, upon researching on Danh Vo’s works, I realised that just by presenting them nicely is not enough to attract people. Danh Vo uses objects that can relate to his family history, chance encounters, friendships, geopolitical narratives and bureaucratic structures. And the things he chooses are like artifacts, because he is able to create a relationship between them to tell stories. His work for Singapore Biennale 2011 involves using cardboard used by a pull-tea vendor on the streets of Bangkok, and covering them in gold leaf. The letters relate to the time zone codes used for military and meteorological purpose, and were inspired by the different time zones Singapore has had over the years. He uses ordinary everyday materials such as cardboard, and by adding a “Midas touch” to it, he creates a simple yet informative art piece that informs people about a part of Singapore’s history.

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