Exhibitions09 06 2018 — 28 07 2018
FrontRoom: NHAT-VU DANG Vũ: A Name is Like a Spell
In 1988 a pair of twins was born in Hoorn, in the north of Holland. Their parents lived there a long way from home, and while choosing first names of the boys, they added 'Vũ' as an extension: Nhật-Vũ and Đăng-Vũ. It is a sort of incantation, a sign of strength: the meaning of this addition is 'cosmos' or 'storm'.
Dutch boys with unusual names; as unusual as the way in which their family ended up in The Netherlands. Mother and father escaped from Vietnam in 1981 by boat - alas, an age-old phenomenon - and were saved at the time by a ship from the Netherlands. And so they eventually ended up on the other side of the globe.
Nhat-Vu Dang graduated many years later as a jewellery artist at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam; shortly after that he moved to Berlin in Germany. There a new, autonomous life began, but once again it was home far from home. Rings Dang had once designed for his twin brother, turned out to emotionally connect them in spite of the distance. It was the incentive to make lots of rings and bracelets for his 'other half', as a sign of union, irrespective of time and place. The physical nearness of worn jewellery certainly provides a perfect medium for that. The new rings Dang made are sculptural, made of solid silver, and refer to the traditions of the jewellers craft. As a continuation of the symbolic force attached to his name, Dang stamps 'Vũ' in every piece that leaves his workbench. The emotional, yet universally recognizable intent in these rings make them, also through their shaping and wearability, as accessible as they are desirable.
(© Galerie Rob Koudijs)