vong phaophanit

3 December 1999 - 19 January 2000
Stephen Friedman Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of new works by British artist Vong Phaophanit.

Phaophanit has created two new pieces for this exhibition. A greenhouse, its structure eroded by perforations, transforms the front space by refracting light about the room. In the back space the artist has created an installation with bamboo, polybutadiene rubber and zinc metal sheets. The fluidity of the milky-white rubber as it infiltrates the gaps of the bamboo construction underscores Phaophanit's constant interest in territories and shifting boundaries.

Recently, Phaophanit has tampered with ready-made objects such as chairs or piano stools, piercing them with a myriad of small holes. A greenhouse normally connotes light and warmth as well as cultivation and protection. Here Phaophanit denies this object its primary function, while not totally destroying it or transforming it into something else. Phaophanit also uses light and its distortion to evoke a sensual response from his viewers.

Often, Phaophanit's materials such as bamboo, rice or rubber have a persistent cultural resonance, which the artist ‘frees up' through the sensual language of his work - allowing these materials to shed their limitations. The cultural associations are not lost but opened out to new interpretations where a phenomenological encounter with the material is made possible.

This will be the artist's first solo exhibition in London since presenting Atopia at the Royal Festival Hall Ballroom in 1998. Phaophanit also contributed to the international touring exhibtion Pictura Britannica Art from Britain in 1997. In 1996/1997 the artist took part in the DAAD scholarship in Berlin. The artist is currently exhibiting in The Third Asia-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, at the Queensland Art Gallery, Australia and in From There to Here - Art From London at the Konsthallen Göteburg, Sweden.