a sentimental dissidence.

-a sentimental dissidence is a solo show with video, sound and sculpture works and is curated by Vanessa Kwan at grunt gallery. The exhibition is accompanied by a publication and interview between myself and artist, filmmaker, writer and musician KC Wei. This show came together with lots of production support from Stephan Wright and metal work by Dylan Townley-Smith. 

-a sentimental dissidence acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts and is made with archives from the National Film Board of Canada

Stills from coco means ghost, directed by Gabi Dao, camera and sound by Gabi Dao and Tom Richardson, music by Scott Gailey and Yu Su. Contributions and appearances from Antoine Le Tri Nhong, Ong Nam, An Lê Phúc Minh Nguyen, Nguyên Huỳnh, Hạnh Dung Nguyễn Ngọc, Quang Nguyen and Phuong Lan Tieu. Special thanks to Phuong Lan Tieu, Allison Collins, the many students of the IUCP Reserch Team and everyone at grunt gallery. 

-Installation shots of coco means ghost, HD video projection and 2.1 sound, 24 mins, empty and full tall cans of coconut water, dried bladder cherry flowers, photograph, carpet, bench, pillows, LED lights + installation shots of i and you, you and i, 6 mins and 30 secs, audio, transducers, tempered glass, aluminum, beaded curtains

Photos courtesy of Dennis Ha


-Excerpts From the Domestic Cinema Ch.1  and Ch.2 are the first two parts of a three part series of videos which adapts a 30 page memoir written by my father Duc Kim Dao. Excerpts From the Domestic Cinema Ch.2 was created for the group exhibition Relations of Responsibility, it plays on loop with Ch.1 in a video installation. It's curated by cheyanne turions and includes works by Lou Sheppard and Raven Chacon.

Stills from Excerpts From the Domestic Cinema Ch.2

Installation shots of Excerpts From the Domestic Cinema Ch.1 Ch.2, 26 mins, HD video projection, stereo sound, beaded curtains, bean bag chairs, couch, carpet

photos courtesy of Blaine Campbell


-Excerpts From the Domestic Cinema Ch.1 is the first part of a three part series of videos which adapts a 30 page memoir written by my father Duc Kim Dao. This first part was made for the occasion of Archival Pulse, an online exhibition hosted by P40 collective and curated by Noor Bhangu

Stills of Excerpts From the Domestic Cinema Ch.1, directed by Gabi Dao, camera by Gabi Dao, Kara Hansen and Sungpil Yoon, sound by Tom Richardson, music by Gabi Dao, appearances by Duc Kim Dao and Phuong Lan Tieu. Special thanks to Duc Kim Dao.


-A knife to wither your petal fingers, was a solo exhibition at Blinkers, an artist run project space in Winnipeg. The exhibition featured some sculpture, installation and an 8 min. video. 

Photos courtesy of Blinkers

Our duties produce pictures

dimensions variable, window installation with yellow, green, red and blue lighting gels.


Gel 'shadows' appear only at certain times of day.

How difficult it is to keep our mirrors clean (innocent record, technical dirt) and The Protagonists (projection), install shot

HD video and stereo sound, 00:08:08, MDF, soil, tarp, extension cables, jumper cables, power adapters, mirrored plexiglass, LEDs, lens cleaning cloths, animatronic hand, 3D printing plastic, fake nails, nail accessories, bamboo 

How difficult it is to keep our mirrors clean (innocent record, technical dirt), detail 

dimensions variable, animatronic hand, fake nails, nail accessories, electric tape, bamboo, 3D printing plastic

How difficult it is to keep our mirrors clean (innocent record, technical dirt), detail 

dimensions variable, glove, flex sensors, circuit board, jumper wire, bamboo, lens cleaning cloth

Stills ofThe Protagonist 


Trailer for The Protagonists

-This sculpture was made for the group exhibition SOOT at Unit 17 in Vancouver. Curated by Tobin Gibson.

Photos courtesy 

of Unit 17

Many, Looks, Work

dimensions variable, gelatin, make up, fake nails, nail accessories, dirt, other bits of detritus, copper wire, micas, clays,  jumper cables, jewellery chain, chain from broken lighting fixture, false eyelashes, nail polish, sowing pins, dried white prune, dried flowers, knotty pine


-I made this sound piece as a part of Island Dreams, a program of performance, poetry and installation on Saysutshun island—a part of Nanaimo Art Gallery's group exhibition Dream Islands

Photos courtesy of Emma

Metcalfe Hurst

At the mouth of Mark Bay

00:12:15 sound, power speaker. 


Soundscape is composed of field recordings of waves, birds, docks, boats, rocks, branches, dirt, echoes.


-I made this work for Sky Islands, a series of performances, temporary installations and discussions around artistic and activist practices in Vancouver's Chinatown. On top of a parking lot rooftop, it was curated by Kara Hansen. The sculpture functions as an acoustic mirror or 'whisper dish'— it has the ability to pick up and amplify sound when spoken into, even from a distance. In this context, I used it to perform a text and song I wrote. The sculpture is left on the roof for the duration of the programming to collect sun, rust, the city's acoustic scraps, thuds, shrills, bellows, intonations. Below is a recording of the sound work and images of the sculpture. 

Barely a Whisper

00:10:11, text, song, microphone, PA system (not picture), stainless steel, friendship bracelet knotted out of plastic string


-I made these works for the group exhibition noise gives the listener duration as an artifact at Artspeak, curated by Bopha Chaay. The works included the a sound piece that was broadcasted in the exhibition space on an FM radio pirate frequency, Voices Tuned and two sculptures, Curled Up in a Spiral and Polished Like a Shell, milled on a CNC machine.

Photos courtesy of Dennis Ha

Polished Like a Shell (foreground)


polystyrene, epoxy, woodfiller, clays, micas


Curled Up in a Spiral 


polystyrene, epoxy, woodfiller, clays, micas


-An installation-cum-jam-session at the New Music Centre in Calgary as a part of Intersite. During the day, a collection of found objects and sculptures were mic'ed and open to visitors to contribute sculptural gesture and action to the materials, contributing to the gradual process and addition of acoustic landscaping within the centre. A slowly forming soundscape that absorbs into the infrastructure of the building is the result of intentional and circumstantial sonic tableaux, a narrative rendered by material detritus and smattering of sundry goods as opposed to an audio recording.

Photos courtesy of Emmedia

dimensions variable, microphones, microphone stands, dried beans, dried noodles, bag of starch, metronome, velcro, sandpaper, pants, aluminum rod, ceramic vase, plastic vase, glass bowl, metal pot, pitcher of water, metal chairs, rubber, bits of plastic, records, laptop, digital audio processors


-This work was made while on residency at the Banff Centre. It is at once an installation and a recording studio of sorts. A series of sculptures and sculptural material are collected from around the centre and are housed in the installation. Over the period of the residency are used to record Foley (sound effects recorded in a studio most often for cinematic post production uses). The installation changes as recordings and incidental sculptural tableaux are created within this makeshift recording studio. Residents and other Banff guests are invited to contribute. 

dimensions variable, assorted microphones, mixer, powered speakers, field recorder, MDF, framing lumber, assorted textiles, carpet, some clothing, jumper cable, a collection of bottles and kitchenware, clothing hanger, LED lights, sandpaper, cardboard tube, paper, polystyrene, fake nails, metal rod, non-perishable groceries, bits of plastic, drill, rice, dried beans, assorted sheets of plastic and metal, paper, make up, an orange, glove, rubber ball, a small collection of ceramic vessels, glass vase, fan, bag of starch, guitar strings, etc.



Excerpt of project with artist Emily Promise Allison, documentation courtesy of Emma Finn.


Open Sesame


-This was a solo exhibition I did at the project space Spare Room (Vancouver), curated by Sung-Pil Yoon. The exhibition was an sculptural installation with a light 'drawing', stereo and stereo sound. The exhibition is a response to the lucrative, complicated and problematic economies of cultural tourism in South East Asia.


Photos courtesy of Dustin Brons and Gabi Dao

dimensions variable, framing lumber, MDF, polystyrene, DVD, DVD case, digital collage, jumper cable, daisy chain splitter, gelatin, makeup, LED lights, theatre seats






-I made these three sculptures for the group exhibition No Monologue in Vancouver. The sculptures respond to a twenty-four foot long table within the exhibition space of 221a.

Photos courtesy of Dennis Ha

Ambient, Spotlight, Sparkle

dimensions variable, MDF, pot light fixtures, lightbulbs, LED lights, jumper wire, polystyrene, plexiglass, epoxy, paint, 10 plug power strip, low wattage daisy chain

sculptures by Emma Metcalfe Hurst in the backround (below)



 and press,













background photo courtesy of Blaine Campbell