b. 1972, Danang, Vietnam
Lives and works in Ho Chi Minh City And Hoi An, Vietnam

Singapore Biennale 2016 Artists BUI CONG KHANH

Singapore Biennale 2016 Artists BUI CONG KHANH


Dislocate, 2014–2016

Jackfruit wood
Dimensions variable
Collection of the Artist

Handcrafted by the artist and master carpenters and woodcarvers over two years, Dislocate can be described as an act of catharsis. It brings together an appreciation for the artist’s family history and heritage, and the complexities surrounding social and national identity. Khanh combines the woodworking craftsmanship of his ancestral province of Fujian, China, with the cultural identity of central Vietnam, to investigate and highlight the geo- and sociopolitical tensions between Vietnam and China. The artwork is made entirely of jackfruit wood – a much-prized timber, native to South and Southeast Asia – with repurposed elements from a traditional wooden Vietnamese home. The central sculpture contains carvings of a Vietnamese military jacket, American GI helmets and missiles, interspersed between motifs of lotus flowers and dragons composed within panels of chain-link carvings. Situated on each of the four sides of the sculpture is a plinth supporting a miniature Buddhist pagoda with cannons, being engulfed by a Chinese bonsai plant.