Through a body of personal work inspired also by historical and political events, Danh Vo probes into the inheritance and construction of cultural conflicts, traumas, and values. When Vo was a child, his family fled Vietnam and settled in Denmark: their assimilation to European culture and the political events that prompted their flight are intrinsic to his artistic investigations. His work sheds light on the relation between the inseparable elements that shape our sense of self, both through collective history and private experience. Exhibiting objects based on the ready-made principle is a characteristic artistic strategy of Vo; through objects charged with symbolism that retains the sublimated desire and sadness of individuals and entire cultures, he examines how meaning changes with context. Vo’s work, enigmatic and poetic, deftly avoids didacticism as he explores the power structures behind liberal societies and the fragility of our nation-state notions.
Danh Vo studied at KADK-The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Denmark and at the Städelschule in Frankfurt, Germany. He’s been awarded with the Hugo Boss Prize in 2012 and the Blauorange Kunstpreis by the Deutsche Volksbanken und Raiffeisenbanken in 2007; 2009 he was nominated for the Preis der Nationalgalerie für junge Kunst in Germany.
His most important exhibitions include: include MUDAM Luxembourg (2021); White Cube Bermondsey (2020); The National Museum of Art, Osaka, Japan (2020); Danh Vo Untitled, South London Gallery (2019); Danh Vo: The Mudam Collection and Pinault Collection in Dialogue, Mudam Luxembourg (2019); Nogushi for Danh Vo: Counterpoint, M+, Hong Kong (2018); Danh Vo: Garden with Pigeons in Flight, Casa Luis Barragán, Mexico City (2018); Danh Vo, CAPC, Bordeaux (2018); Danh Vo: Take My Breath Away, Guggenheim Museum, New York and SMK, Copenhagen, (2018); Ng Teng Fong Roof Garden Commission series: Danh Vō, National Gallery Singapore (2016-17); Banish the Faceless / Reward your Grace, Palacio de Cristal del Retiro, Madrid (2015); Ydob eht ni mraw si ti, Museum Ludwig, Cologne (2015); Danh Vo: Wād al-ḥaŷara, Museo Jumex, Mexico City (2014/2015); Danh Vō: We The People (detail), Faurschou Foundation, Beijing (2014); We The People, commissioned by Public Art Fund for the Brooklyn Bridge Park, New York (2014); I M U U R 2 (Hugo Boss Prize), Guggenheim Museum, New York (2013); Chung ga opla, Villa Medici, Rome (2013); Fabulous Muscles, Museion, Bolzano (2013); Go Mo Ni Ma Da, Musée de l’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (2013); We The People (detail) 2010-2013, Art Institute of Chicago (2012); Vō Danh, Kunsthaus Bregenz (2012); JULY, IV, MDCCLXXVI, Kunsthalle Fridericianum, Kassel (2011); Hip Hip Hurra, SMK, Copenhagen (2010); Les fleurs d'intérieur, KADIST, Paris (2009); Danh Vo: Where the Lions Are, Kunsthalle Basel (2009); Package Tour, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2008).
His work has also been included in group exhibitions at institutions such as: Querini Stampalia (2022); Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2018); National Museum of Art, Osaka (2018); Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2017); Frank F. Yang Art and Education Foundation | YOU Space, Shenzhen (2017); Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide (2017); Deutsches Hygiene-Museum, Dresden (2017); Centre Pompidou, Paris (2016); Aishti Foundation, Beirut (2016); The Menil Collection, Houston (2015); Barbican Centre, London (2015); Kunstmuseum Basel (2013); New Museum, New York, (2012); Kunsthaus Bregenz (2011); Galleria d'Arte Moderna e Contemporane, Turin (2011); Kunsthalle Basel (2010); Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam (2009); Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin (2009); Kunstverein, Munich (2008); Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2008); CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco (2007), among others.
Danh Vo participated in the International Art Exhibition at the 55th Venice Biennial (2013), 58th Venice Biennial (2019) and represented Denmark at the 56th Venice Biennial (2015) with the exhibition Mothertongue.
Danh Vo currently lives in Mexico City.