Photos: Courtesy of Vitamin Creative Space and Galleri Feldt.
For the current Danh Vo show at ‘Mirrored Gardens’, 2.2.1861, Galleri Feldt has contributed fine examples of Danish Modern furniture.
The exhibition is arranged by the contemporary art gallery, Vitamin Creative Space, which opened ‘Mirrored Gardens’ as an exhibition space in the Panyu District of Guangzhou, China which they designed for “contemporary art practice, quotidian life and a kind of farming-oriented life practice [to] meet and overlap with each other”; it was designed and constructed by Sou Fujimoto Architects over the last three years. ‘Mirrored Gardens’ is building on an open concept, with no air control; everything is meant to be in harmony with the landscape.
“As a constructed ‘nature’, ‘Mirrored Gardens’ provides a nurture ground for germination and practicing the creative diversity, which may encourage us to learn the energy that allow us to sense and connect with the system of the universe through our daily contact. It will constantly investigate how art can become a dynamic media that enhances the transformation between different ideas, materials forms and time-space dimensions—the spatial form of ‘Mirrored Gardens’ reflects the processes and results of the interactions of these fluid ideas, practices and energies”.
“Here, the time process of human creative activities becomes the essential element with which to form space. What man and nature create through time will always give life to the space, which will then be given back to us as rich nutrients for life”.
The show opened on December 19 2015, by Galleri Feldt’s friend and collaborator, the contemporary artist, Danh Vo. Vo filled the exhibition areas and the gardens with various new and older works, including mammoth skeleton fragments strewn about the pond and outdoor spaces and silk paintings in ancient Chinese traditional style inside.
The design pieces are used for an installation at the adjacent exhibition space. There, Vo has created an unique installation which among others, includes Finn Juhl’s sculptural BO46 sofa (1946), Peder Moos’ exquisitely executed ‘Drumstick table’ (1952) and Nanna Ditzel’s industrial-looking yet very comfortable ‘Sausage chairs’ (1955).
The installation also includes brass, bare-bulb floor lamps by Vo’s artistic colleague, Leonor Antunes. (Similar lamps were installed in our 2014-15 collaboration in Berlin Haupstr).
Vo arranged these pieces in conversation with conceptual design pieces by Jeannette Laverierre (1909-2011), a French designer whose Communist politics inspired objects designed for everyone, and an interest in the working class. Her wall lamps, chosen by Vo, are interpretations of hats worn by workers in Chinese rice patties. Instead of shielding a head from sunlight, the bulb takes the ‘head”s place and shines out through the hat to the rest of the room.
The lamp ‘hats’ point to the main arrangement from the room’s parameter, while all the furniture has been placed in an intimate, livingroom-like fashion, centered around a flat screen television set. Vo selected the film, Rosetta (1999), by the Dardenne Brothers, to play on loop during gallery hours; it focuses on an adolescent girl’s struggle to find work and survive in France amidst the poverty of a life she was born into yet is desperate to overcome by any means. On some level, it speaks to basic human desire for a comfortable life, and what it takes to build this.
Within the room, it can be seen as momento mori kind of element within a luxurious, interior still life: a reminder of social inequality and the not so moral acts committed in pursuit of comfort. On the other hand: does Rosetta increases the feeling of comfort and certainty for the viewer placed in the well-defined historical furniture? This should be for the viewer to decide nonetheless Vo’s installation exemplifies the potential intellectual and formal associations one can make with such pieces.
Vo’s exhibition remains on view in ‘Mirrored Gardens’ until March 6 2016.