Mirrored Gardens geological strata:“Borrowed Scenery” of Danh Vo:
Isamu Noguchi: Akari series
Enzo Mari：1974’s autoprogettazione
Nanna Ditzel: Hallingdal Mega
View at Mirrored Gardens.
“Borrowed Scenery,” Danh Vo: As we lean into the journey of Danh Vo’s artistic practice, we encounter the subjects of several of his deepest passions: Japanese-American artist Isamu Noguchi, Italian designer and artist Enzo Mari, Danish designer Nanna Ditzel, and the space of the Dong Pavilion. By way of the faintly discernible connections shared among these subjects, we embark upon an understanding toward the many layers of Danh Vo’s contemporary art practice.
As Noguchi explained himself, the Akari light series (Akari meaning “light” or “brightness” in Japanese) “allows us to feel the presence of sunlight during the dark night, its warmth continuing to linger indoors.” Noguchi’s conception of light, then, transcends the general surface beauty of form, and penetrates straight into human nature’s deep longing for warmth.
The design practice behind Enzo Mari’s autoprogettazione (or “self design”), presented in 1974, is also an emphatic return to the basic needs of humans, suggesting a reversion to an active relationship with the material world; Vo also entered into collaboration with noted textile company Kvadrat to delve into the archives of the prominent designer Nanna Ditzel, rediscovering one of her historic designs: Hallingdal Mega, Ditzel’s textiles are used to upholster circular daybeds inspired by Enzo Mari.
The Dong Pavilion is a traditional space for the Dong people, a structure used in field labor, rest, and congregating. The cedar trees in the mountains, alongside the children, grow taller, and once the trees are tall enough to be used for their wood, they are transformed into homes for the next generation, as well as pavilions and drum towers for congregation. The actual process of woodworking becomes an abiding support during this transition into a different stage of life.
Danh Vo’s practice of contemporary art, which started in the realm of his personal experiences, has since journeyed around the entire world, engaging in an investigation of the complicated faces of history—especially in relation to identity and belonging, authority and ownership, the role of personal relationships, and the survival of other human groups—and focusing in on the question of how humans might achieve a state of freedom in today’s world. This trail of questions has brought together Noguchi’s Akari light series, Enzo Mari’s autoprogetttazione furniture, and the Dong Pavilion, ushering them into the Mirrored Gardens. Along this winding path of investigation, different lines of history are being reconnected and reconstructed, as well as colliding together, slowly forming our ideas about the possibilities of being alive today.
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A Letter to a Traveller
How are you doing? Hope everything is going well with you! At the transition of seasons, the “Mirror Gardens” has also experienced the changes of light, plants and space. While new “topographies” and “writings” are slowly emerging, we warmly invite you to come and wander at the Mirror Gardens in the daily opening time. We hope you all will pass through and feel the multitude of parallel worlds in various pace and from different perspectives. Let the dance of thoughts and the wandering of the body converge, and freely discover a space that belongs to you:
Wish you a bright and beautiful autumn, and hope to have you re-visit again in the daily process.
Daily Opening Time:
11:00 – 17:00, Wednesday to Sunday
Closed on Mondays, Tuesdays
Address: Mirrored Gardens, Si Hai Ma Shu, Hualong Agriculture Grand View Garden (化龙农业大观园，四海马术), Panyu District, Guangzhou