Utstilling: Kim Jakobsen Tô - Passport tô heaven

23.5 - 2.6, Sorgenfri (Sorgenfrigata 16, Oslo)

Sorgenfri is pleased to present ´Passport Tô Heaven´, Kim Jakobsen Tô’s first solo exhibition with the gallery. The exhibition attests to the singularity of Tô’s expansive vision and meditates on the simultaneity of life.

The show features a personal look at the artist’s own identity as the child of a boat refugee, and his relationship to his father. At the heart of Tô’s work is a desire to understand the intricacies of his own complicated layers of identity, while working against the backdrop of his cultural expectations.

He invites aninterplay of chance and control, of consideration and coincidence, of process and time. Jakobsen Tô expands on an ongoing body of work, continuing to articulate themes related to self, stereotypes and the outsider.

Included in the exhibition are sculptures portraying his father in ceramic and found objects. Now being a father himself, the artist is intrigued by ideas around parenthood, time and heritage. He is with this show looking at whether it would be possible to fuse the two experiences his father and he had of life in the mid 00’s, merging them both into a fuzzy yet somehow real memory.

“I’m making my dad into me and working with sculptures based on elements from his life. Working with my Vietnamese identity, my queer identity, small town family life - all coming into one. This process allowed me to acknowledge a longing to work with the contradictions I experienced about myself.” -Kim Jakobsen Tô

Using photography, sculpture, text and archival images Jakobsen Tô creates a world that blurs the borders of past and present, father and son. It’s like, the father is a stand-in for the artist, or the opposite around. The portraits attest to Tô’s ongoing investigation in identity and subculture. In this work he is further exploring themes such as vulnerability, gender and generational trauma. The resulting images in his series are colourful, fun, naïve, dreamy, slightly absurd and interesting, -but also dark, deep and touch upon many personal subjects.

In Tô’s pictures, we see somehow part of ourselves, a distant gaze, with a present notion related to clothes, space and current world affairs.

Kim Jakobsen Tô is a Norwegian-Vietnamese photographer based in London from 2005 to 2023, currently residing in Oslo. His work is mainly revolving around group identity and subculture. Interested in the performance of the self, he is looking at communities such as cosplayers, historical re-enactors and spiritual groups where the notion of identity is split between everyday utilitarian lives and utopian dreams.

‘Passport Tô Heaven´, an exhibition dedicated to the artist’s teenage years, will be on view in Sorgenfri. The exhibition includes Sorgenfri's entire main gallery at the lower ground floor.