Politically and environmentally, we’re living in dark times. Artist Tomas Vu embraces the darkness in his new solo show, "Tomas Vu: The Fifth Season," which opens at Fredric Snitzer Gallery tonight.
“'The Fifth Season' is about the apocalypse, the end of everything else when we’ve gone through all the cycles, and here we are after the doomsday scenario... The work is ultimately a protest against the destruction of our planet and our humanity,” says Vu, who's returned to Miami after showing a surfing and screenprinting installation with Rirkrit Tiravanija at Untitled Art Fair in 2016.
"The Fifth Season" consists of works in four concepts and mediums: 148 ceramic skulls, two functional surfboards, two large paintings, and six medium drawings of futuristic landscapes. Vu, who grew up in Vietnam during the war, is most excited to show the hand-cast and hand-painted ceramic skulls, which will be exhibited as an installation that leads to the backyard of the gallery. The project is a nod to his 2001 installation Killing Fields, where he cast more than 100 skulls in wax.
“Every skull is unique; there’s not a single one that’s the same. I made ten molds, and then I
“I’m excited to see what [the skulls] will look like in the backyard. I heard there are chickens in Miami. We’re hoping that the neighbor’s chicken will come over, hang out, and live out there. If we have livestock nearby, let them live there. It’s about life. I don’t want to manicure it to be too precious.”
Vu hopes to expand the ceramic skulls project and ultimately create an alternative version of the Vietnam War Memorial by making a landscape installation piece with 58,220 skulls, representing the number of American soldiers killed in the Vietnam War. He's working to find funding and sponsorship for the large-scale skull installation.
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The artist understands the project will be long-term and labor-intensive. He admits, “I’m interested in art not
Vu will return to Miami Art Week this year with collaborator Tiravanija, showing a modified version of their 2016 installation, Do We Dream Under the Same Sky, which will be exhibited again at Untitled Art Fair. The duo will re-create the T-shirt
For this year's edition, Vu
"Tomas Vu: The Fifth Season." Opening reception 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, September 14, at Fredric Snitzer Gallery, 1540 NE Miami Ct., Miami; 305-448-8976; snitzer.com. The show runs through October 20.