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***PROJECTS***

Last Lost Time

-Last Lost Time was originally curated by Natasha Chaykowski at The Bows. This video belows features a stereo mix, adapted from a single channel projection with 7.1 sound for the group show Vancouver Special: Disorientations and Echo at the Vancouver Art Gallery, invited by curator Christian Vistan. The installation also includes three sound/sculptures and sculptural elements such as copies of archival newspaper clippings from the City of Vancouver Archives and broken audio equipment that have been crystallized in sugar.

From 2018-2021, myself in collaboration with John Brennan and Elisa Ferrari, have been listening and sounding at various locations— as sensing and listening exercises, as experiential scores, as practices of collaborating and improvising in situ together. For this particular presentation, we focused these activities on the overlaps between Roger’s/Lantic Inc., a sugar refining factory on port property and the Vancouver Art Gallery, currently based in a former law court.

As a multi-media installation, Last Lost Time focuses on and entangles specific, regional histories between corporation, the state and the arts. Text, sound, image and disembodied voices conjure present-day, nuanced connections to early 20th century socio-political hegemonies and struggles such as the viral codification of Chinese labour, xenophobic advertisements of imported Hong Kong sugar, a gallery occupation as a part of the Bloody Sunday sit-in relief labour strikes, the affiliations between the second mayor of so-called Vancouver, the Roger’s family, the presidents of the Canadian Pacific Railway and the original founders of the Vancouver Art Gallery. Laid out in audio/visual and sculptural fragments, the installation solicits the sensorial labour of audiences rather than the quantitative, cause-and-effect logic usually affiliated with archives— towards evoking the depths of complexity and complicity between individuals, institutions and the systems of posterity, consumption, presentness and progress.

Director, Video editing, Script: Gabi Dao | Sound performances, scores, mixing, mastering: Gabi Dao, John Brennan, Elisa Ferrari | Sound Recording: Gabi Dao, John Brennan, Elisa Ferrari, Kellen Jackson | Camera: Gabi Dao, Alysha Seriani | Special thanks to Natasha Chaykowski & The Bows, Christian Vistan, Asa Mori, Francis Paris, Yota, Grant Arnold, Julie Martin, Jane Devine Meija and the VAG, Khan Lee, Jae Woo Kang & VIVO Media Arts, Michelle Hagewood & Centrum Foundation, Dao/Tieu/Pham family, Duplex, Emma Metcalfe Hurst, Bella

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-Last Lost Time detail views at the Vancouver Art Gallery photo courtesy of me. Stainless steel vessel, microphone and XLR cable crystallized in sugar, cardboard box, broken bow crystallized in sugar, transducers and cables

-Last Lost Time, 2021,  installation view at the Vancouver Art Gallery, dimensions variable, photo courtesy of Dustin Brons. Single channel video projection with 7.1 sound, steel vessel, crystallized microphone and XLR cable, cardboard box, broken bow crystallized in sugar, prints from the City of Vancouver City Archives BC Sugar Fonds crystallized in sugar, glass vessel, transducers, cabling

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Detail view of Last Lost Time, stainless steel vessel, microphone and XLR cable crystallized in sugar

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Detail view of Last Lost Time, cardboard box, broken bow crystallized in sugar, transducer and cabling

Detail view of Last Lost Time, cardboard box, broken bow crystallized in sugar, print from the City of Vancouver BC Sugar Fonds archives crystallized in sugar, transducer and cabling

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Detail view of Last Lost Time, cardboard box, broken bow crystallized in sugar, print from the City of Vancouver BC Sugar Fonds archives crystallized in sugar

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Detail view of Last Lost Time, glass vessel, print from the City of Vancouver BC Sugar Fonds crystallized in sugar, transducer and cabling

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Detail view of Last Lost Time, crystallized prints of archives from the City of Vancouver BC Sugar Fonds and Google images of bats

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Detail view of Last Lost Time, crystallized prints of archives from the City of Vancouver BC Sugar Fonds and Google images of bats

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soothsay

-soothsay  is a two person show made in collaboration with geetha thurairajah at Unit 17, Vancouver, Canada, 2020. Over the course of many months, we discussed and created conceptually collaborative works.  All paintings were made by geetha, sculptures made by me. The exhibition text was written by Christian Vistan. A review was written by Steffanie Ling.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Installation view of An alphabet burn scene: just  food flesh wounds, torched wood, flocking, gelatin, ashes, micas, clays, vegetable glycerin, already burnt incense (holy basil), fruit fly traps (safe for humans and for pets), dimensions variable, 2020

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Detail views of An alphabet burn scene: just  food flesh wounds

Installation view of An alphabet burn scene: just food flesh wounds , An alphabet burn scene: debunked bat myths and eyelashes unapologetically andCRUMBS, torched wood, flocking, gelatin, ashes, micas, clays, vegetable glycerin, already burnt incense (holy basil), fruit fly traps (safe for humans and for pets), aluminum wire, false eyelashes, bracelets, cast aluminum, burnt sourdough crumbs, dimensions variable, 2020

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Detail views of An alphabet burn scene: debunked bat myths and eyelashes unapologetically

Installation view of Laying starched dandelion day job (I quit!!!), tapioca starch, vegetable glycerin, water, vinegar, dandelions, aluminum, ashes, sand, graphite powder, bentonite clay, turmeric, cumin, coriander, necklace, dimensions variable, 2020

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Detail views of Laying starched dandelion day job (I quit!!!) and CRUMBS

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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. 

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-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

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-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

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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

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photos courtesy of Blaine Campbell

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-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.

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-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

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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.

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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 

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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

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Stills ofThe Protagonist 

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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

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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

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-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

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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.

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-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

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-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

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-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

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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

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-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.

 

 

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

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Open Sesame

2015

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-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

 

 

 

 

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-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

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sculptures by Emma Metcalfe Hurst in the backround (below)

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