Frozen Ground, 2000
acrylic on paper
signed, dated and titled (on reverse)
Niagara Galleries, Melbourne
Acquired from the above by the present owner in June 2000
Savanhdary Vongpoothorn, Niagara Galleries, Melbourne, June 2000, cat.11
Savanhdary Vongpoothorn's Frozen Ground (2000) is highly detailed and layered work, both in its physical form and in its conceptual foundation. Created by hand using a technique that stems from traditional Laotian textile stitching, the holes and raised perforations in the work build a complex web of repeated forms which, when viewed as a whole conversely evokes the tradition of minimalist abstraction. The connection between Vongpoothorn's Buddhist beliefs and her practice is apparent in the work, in which each mark can be understood to reference the repetition inherent in breathing, chanting and music.
Born in Laos in 1971, Savanhdary Vongpoothorn arrived in Australia in 1979 when she was 8 years old. Since she began exhibiting in 1992, Vongpoothorn's work has earned her considerable praise and critical recognition and her work has been included in major exhibitions including 'Uncommon worlds: Aspects of Contemporary Australian Art' at the National Gallery of Australia and the '2006 Biennale of Sydney'. Vongpoothorn is known for her exquisite, finely textured paintings in which she pierces a series of small holes on the surface of the canvas, gradually building up paint on the front and back of the work. Vongpoothorn's work combines a myriad of influential elements including Theravada Buddhism, traditional Lao textiles, high modernism, the Australian landscape and Aboriginal art. She has exhibited widely across Australia and internationally, and her work is held in numerous public and private collections. Savanhdary Vongpoothorn currently lives in the ACT and is represented by Martin Browne Fine Art, Sydney.