Alphabet (Z)

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  • Provenance

    Galerie Buchholz, Berlin
    Private Collection, Europe
    Private Collection, London
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Catalogue Essay

    “I see myself, like any other person, as a container that has inherited these infinite traces of history without inheriting any direction.” - Danh Vo

    Danh Vo is an artist whose works forge links between the multifarious strands of his cultural identity—one that finds its roots in Vietnam but which developed in Denmark. His works investigate the nuanced spaces created in cultural displacement and migration, and explore the broader implications of the consequences of global importation and exportation of both goods and ideas: particularly fitting and symptomatic of the 21st Century.

    Illustrated by Alphabet (Z) are Vo’s principal ideas of coexistence or perhaps convergence—where discarded Vietnamese cardboard boxes are lined with opulent gold leaf, and ironically given the same treatment as sanctified objects in Southeast Asia. In so doing, the artist’s Alphabet (Z) interweaves reality with ideality, seamlessly contextualising revered traditions with modern-day sensibilities and preoccupations. This idea of concomitance of realities/ idealities is furthered by the letter Z. Dominating the foreground, it is extrapolated from the Bowditch alphabet as standardised in the maritime community in the early 19th century. This global language facilitated the centralisation of communication between the West and the East, supporting international trade and ultimately heralding colonisation.

    Vo’s oeuvre is one that ultimately amalgamates the personal, the cultural, and the historical: “I don’t really believe in my own story, not as a singular thing anyway. It weaves in and out of other people’s private stories of local history and geopolitical history. I see myself, like any other person, as a container that has inherited these infinite traces of history without inheriting any direction. I try to compensate for this, I’m trying to make sense out of it and give it a direction for myself.” (Danh Vo, quoted in Francesca Pagliuca, “No Way Out: An Interview with Danh Vo,” Mousse Magazine, February 2009, online)

  • Catalogue Essay

    「與許多人一樣,我自認為是一個傳承了無數歷史痕跡的容器但卻沒有繼承到方向。」 — 傅丹

    傅丹的藝術作品鞏固了他的多重文化身份之間的連繫—一面是越南裔的傳統,另一面則是成長於丹麥的背景。他的作品調查文化置換與遷徙背景下的微妙空間,並探索全球商品流通和思想交流所產生的廣泛影響,尤其是二十一世紀下的融合與徵兆。

    《字母(Z)》描述的是傅丹關於趨同共存的重要想法,廢棄的越南紙盒與奢侈的金箔並置,如同東南亞宗教用品的處理方法使其頗具諷刺意味。以此種方式,《字母(Z)》將現實與理想融合,將飽受敬重的傳統與現代情感及成見無痕銜接。現實與理想的共存進一步被字母Z所闡述。據十九世紀早期海事領域所使用的鮑迪奇字母表推斷,佔據整個前景的字母爲當時的規範。這種全球用語促進了東西方交流的集中化,支持了國際貿易發展,並最終預兆了殖民統治的到來。

    傅丹的作品融合個人、文化、歷史各個層面,正如他所述,「我不相信我的故事作爲單個個體地存在。它穿梭於別人關於本地歷史與地緣政治的故事中。與許多人一樣,我自認為是一個傳承了無數歷史痕跡的容器但卻沒有繼承到方向。我試圖彌補,我試圖理解它,並自己賦予其方向。」(傅丹與佛朗琪絲卡.帕柳卡對話,〈無路可退:傅丹訪談〉,《Mousse雜誌》,2009年2月,網上版)

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7

Property of an Important European Collector

Danh Vo

Alphabet (Z)

2011
gold leaf on unfolded cardboard box
91 x 213 cm (35 7/8 x 83 7/8 in.)
Executed in 2011.

Estimate
HK$1,500,000 - 2,500,000 
€181,000-301,000
$192,000-321,000

sold for HK$2,840,000

Contact Specialist
Jonathan Crockett
Deputy Chairman, Asia and Head of 20th Century & Contemporary Art, Asia
+852 2318 2023

Sandy Ma
Specialist, Head of Evening Sale
+852 2318 2025

General Enquiries
+852 2318 2000

20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Evening Sale

Hong Kong Auction 28 May 2017