Bùi Công Khánh:
Bùi Công Khánh:
Dislocate is a large-scale wooden sculpture by Vietnamese artist Bùi Công Khánh that explores imperial architecture and modern memory. With its sloped roof, intricately carved latticework panels, and freestanding guardian sentinels positioned on each of the four sides, the structure is a testament to Vietnam’s cultural fluidity and its complex war-torn past. Made from aged and new wood of the jackfruit tree—a local plant that is valued in Vietnam for its strength and versatility—Dislocate was painstakingly hand-carved over a two-year period by local artisans in Hội An in central Vietnam. It is Bùi’s most ambitious and large-scale project to date. For many Vietnamese people, especially those with Chinese ancestry like Bùi, Hội An remains an important ancestral home as family histories are intertwined with its status as one of the largest trading ports in Southeast Asia during the second century. Dislocate is adorned with Chinese motifs such as plum blossom branches, pagoda-like structures, and bamboo sprigs, as well as references to a recent and more violent past, such as American G.I. helmets, military garments, hand axes, and guns. Dislocate is a powerful statement on Bùi’s ancestry and family memories and recognition of human resilience in moments of struggle.
About the Artist
Bùi Công Khánh (b. 1972, Vietnam) lives and works in Hội An. His practice comprises a wide array of mediums, including installation, sculpture, painting, video, and performance, to experiment with the limits of artistic expression. Bùi is known for exploring the morphology of artefacts and the use of decorative motifs imbued with modern-day characteristics. His work gives close attention to Vietnam’s history and interacts with communities, individuals, and objects to reflect on his country’s colonial past, political independence, and economic upswing. Bùi has participated in various solo and group exhibitions in Vietnam and abroad, such as The Factory Contemporary Art Centre and Wilfrid Israel Museum. He was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to the United States in 2005. His work was selected for the Asia Pacific Triennial in 2009 and the Singapore Biennial in 2016.
Image at top: Bùi Công Khánh. Dislocate, 2014–2016. Jackfruit wood, cotton, acrylic, bronze, and stone. M+, Hong Kong. © Bùi Công Khánh. Photo: Lok Cheng, M+, Hong Kong