Vong Phaophanit, Line Writing, 1994, 6 rows of red neon with Laotian script, 700 x 150 cm, Collection Irish Museum of Modern Art, Purchase 1995
For the Museum’s re-opening in October 2013 a number of site-specific pieces from the IMMA Collection were reinstalled in the rooms they were originally conceived for. IMMA is delighted to be re-installing Line Writing by Vong Phaophanit which continues the presentation of complex single-room installations made for the IMMA building. The installation is part of IMMA’s new approach to programming the Collection in ways that connect to the broader programme, Line Writing will be installed to coincide with solo exhibitions by Patrick Scott and Haroon Mirza. This allows for the exploration of a theme or shared idea across a number of different artist’s practices.
Line Writing was commissioned by IMMA as part of a series of exhibitions which took place in 1994, titled From Beyond the Pale. This striking red neon text work is installed under the floorboards of the East Ground Galleries; it is literally enmeshed in the fabric of the building. It suggests a secret or hidden history, the artist does not offer an English translation of the Laotian words spelled out in the work. The work is best experienced during the early months of the year, when lower daylight levels and daylight saving offer optimum conditions for viewing the striking impact of red neon light illuminating the 17th-Century colonnade.