Đào Châu Hải lives and works in Hanoi, VN

Đào Châu Hải is one of the leading Vietnamese sculptors of the post-Đải Mải era economic reforms initiated in 1986. A 1979 graduate of the Surikov Art Institute in Moscow, Đào is among the last generation of formalists in Vietnam to be heavily influenced by Eastern Bloc aesthetics. He works with both organic and industrial materials, searching for ideal mechanical forms within the constraints of technology.

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Đào Châu Hải, Ballad of the East Sea (detail), 2022, CNC cut steel plates, 150 × 700 × 400 cm © Đào Châu Hải, photo: Nguyen Anh Tuan

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Đào Châu Hải, Ballad of the East Sea, 2022, CNC cut steel plates, 150 × 700 × 400 cm © Đào Châu Hải, photo: Nguyen Anh Tuan

In 2010, Đào created Ballad of the East Sea after traveling to this small arm of the Pacific Ocean, which has been the object of violent disputes between bordering countries. He has adapted this work for the 12th Berlin Biennale, where it echoes issues of border wars and migration, all of which are just as critical as ever to the world today. Đào’s relentless repetition of thin, sharp edges suggest danger and violence beyond any initial impression of the sea waves or ocean surface. The mechanical nature of the iron sheets refers to early industrialization, with its machine tools, transportation systems, and weaponization, while the material itself is carefully organized to create formidable patterns and rhythms. Ballad of the East Sea adeptly captures the dark history of this site’s human conflicts, through the language of objects that are as subtle and poetic as they are daunting and magnificent.

Đỗ Tường Linh

Exhibitions

United, 2011, Viet Art Center, Hanoi (VN)

Ballad of East Sea, 2010, Viet Art Center, Hanoi (VN)

Four Gods of Nature, 2007, Viet Art Center, Hanoi (VN) (solo)

Tứ pháp, 2004, Viet Art Center, Hanoi (VN) (solo)

Every River is flowing, 1998, Vietnam National Fine Arts Museum, Hanoi (VN)

New Space, 1997, Vietnam National Fine Arts Museum, Hanoi (VN)