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Selection and awards
Who is behind it all?
The Jury
Dao Droste


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Artist of the One World Award Statue

Cosmopolitan, Taoist, free-lance artist (paintings, sculptures, installations, videoart), former chemist (Ph.D.). Internationally she became known with her large-scale ground installation “Open-Mindeness“ and her 500 terra-cotta face sculptures.

The OWA statue is a female torso that is characteristic for Dao Droste. It typifies the life-giving power of “Mother Nature“. The Earth is represented as a flat relief that centrically penetrates the torso and is carried by it at the same time. The coloured areas of the continents, oceans and blue stripes flow across the statue and thus form a unity of everything – an expression of harmony between man and the earth: globalization that takes on responsibility.

As a matter of fact, Dao Droste always wanted to be an artist. But when she graduated from high school there was war in Vietnam and her home country did not need any artists. So Dao, a young lady without any German language background, went to Germany and completed her study of chemistry in Stuttgart and Heidelberg.

After passing all exams she was “so unhappy of not being examined any longer“ that she went on to earn a doctor’s degree – with distinction. Not until 15 years after her arrival in Lüneburg, Lower Saxony, she started to dedicate herself to her original passion: installations, sculptures, paintings. In Eppelheim near Heidelberg she opened her own studio where she will soon celebrate her 25 anniversary as an artist.

“The Way“ is the meaning of her first name. And it perfectly fits this tender woman. She is a Taoist being convinced “that you have to accept what is and that you have to be fully present in the moment without thinking of what comes next“. And you have to always be open for balance, reconciliation and your own intuition.

“Open-Mindedness“, an installation of strictly grouped, but also entirely individualized faces, has been key to building up Dao’s international reputation since 1999. Her Far-Eastern roots can not only be felt in her personality, but also in her artwork which has become part of renowned public and private collections.

While her family lives scattered across four continents, Vietnam has always remained the spiritual home of the artist. But what does home mean? She calls herself a cosmopolitan and knows: “I can only survive with this attitude“.

Source: Nicole Heß (Stadtmagazin MEIER, October 2007)


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