Danh Vō has won the competition for artistic design of the Central Station with the proposal Tongue and Groove, a conceptual work based on traditional Chinese architecture. A contemporary interpretation of the ancient Chinese wood joints will permeate the entire Station Centralen by being integrated into everything, from the pillars, stairs and flooring, to handrails, light fixtures and furniture. Thus the everyday functions become imbued with new layers of meaning.
Tongue and Groove presents a well-defined idea that can permeate Station Centralen in a unique manner. The artistic proposal conveys an awareness of scale that enables a transition from an intimate embodied comprehension to a large scale understanding of the entire facility. The choice of materials appears as fundamental and will be developed in close collaboration with the project’s architects. By highlighting diverse levels of narration, the concept provides substantial possibilities for the common structures in the facilities to become imbued with new layers of meaning, while preserving its technical functions.
The theme of Chronotopia is therefore addressed in connection to Gothenburg’s historical trading with the East India Company, whilst the proposal may also be associated to the city’s complex network of identities, heritage and relations to a globalized world.
The jury has relied on the fact that the work, with its many details, can give the traveller an intricate and varied experience over time. Taking traditional Chinese architecture as a starting point, the proposal refers to contemporary migrations and today’s exchange of goods and ideas, along with the historical antecedent of the Silk Road. The theme of Chronotopia is therefore addressed in connection to Gothenburg’s historical trading with the East India Company, whilst the proposal may also be associated to the city’s complex network of identities, heritage and relations to a globalized world.
On Danh Vö
Danh Vō (Bà Ria, Vietnam, 1975) is currently one of the world’s most acclaimed artists. As a child he fled a convulsed Vietnam with his family in a handmade boat and migrated to Denmark. Migration, belonging and the relations between East and West are core issues in Vō’s artistic vision. He weaves together personal and collective experiences, autobiographical stories and sociopolitical issues.
His conceptual approach undermines the boundaries between objects and life forms. His work comprises diverse formats, including installation, sculpture, photography and paper-based work, as well as found objects obtained through antiquaries or similar sources, which he then brings together in complex installations. By arranging these ensembles, Vō proposes critical ways of looking at cultural heritage to deconstruct dominant narrations of history.
Vō, who currently has a solo exhibition at White Cube in Shanghai, represented Denmark at the Venice Biennale in 2015, has exhibited among others at the Guggenheim Museum in New York and won the Hugo Boss Prize in 2012.