‘Dislocate’ is a solo exhibition by acclaimed Vietnamese artist, Bui Cong Khanh. It will be his largest and most ambitious art installation to date. Walk into the world of ‘Dislocate’ by Bui Cong Khanh and the wood of the jackfruit tree springs to life referencing a myriad of social and cultural histories concerning Vietnam in style and subject. A stunningly carved fortress sits center-stage; its beams, decorative panels and windows recalling the magnificent architectural traditions of Hue (the ancient capital of Vietnam). Surrounding this fortress stand four spiritual ‘guards’ miniature pagoda ensconced within bonsai representing the cycle of the seasons.
Working with a team of senior expert wood carvers and carpenters from Hoi An over a two year period, ‘Dislocate’ embraces a complex interwoven set of narratives that pivots around this ancient city on the central coast of Vietnam a city at the heart of Bui Cong Khanh’s practice and family history.
‘I grew up in Hoi An, in the central coast of Vietnam, which was built by Chinese migrants in the seventeenth century. They arrived in Hoi An as political refugees. As a child I considered myself Vietnamese, until I turned 20, when my father revealed my true origins: my great-great-grandfather was from Fujian, China. Considering the ongoing political tension between China and Vietnam, I began to ask: Which place do I belong?