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Ho Tzu Nyen - G for Gong

Solo exhibition
11 July 2019 - 29 September 2019

The installations of Singaporean video artist and theatre director Ho Tzu Nyen are visually stunning, opulent works. Numerous references to Eastern and Western literature, art, and Music combine with multifaceted sound collages to form enigmatic pieces that reveal new layers of meaning to the viewer on every level of perception. Ho’s central theme is the pursuit of Southeast Asia’s cultural identity—or, more correctly, identities—which is both written in and overwritten by such a multitude of languages, cultures, and influences that it is almost impossible to reduce it down to a fundamental historical core.

The nexus of his intense occupation with this region’s histories is The Critical Dictionary of Southeast Asia (2017). In this work, Ho links the parallel narratives of local animistic cosmologies with those of diverse colonialisms and modernizations. He is less interested in a simple, historical truth than in “how these constructed histories regulate, define and control our way of thinking and our mode of life.” The all-encompassing format of the dictionary represents the equally obsessive and ambitious attempt to describe a whole world with his art.

The earliest piece included in this exhibition—the first survey of Ho Tzu Nyen’s oeuvre in Germany— is Utama – Every Name in History Is I, a film work from 2003 that explores the mythic founding of Singapore in staged scenes based on paintings. In 2 or 3 Tigers (2016), we see computer-generated figures that are animated by a human performer through motion capture technology, through which Ho uses the metamorphic possibilities of digital imaging to traverse the worlds of humans and animals. His most recent work, R for Resonance (2018), presented for the first time in Europe, is a continuation of the dictionary through the seemingly endless possibilities of virtual reality.

The exhibition G for Gong offers new insights into the grandiose world of images and concepts that the artist has built up over the last decade and a half.

This exhibition is a joint project of the Edith-Russ-Haus and the Dynamic Archive project at the University of the Arts Bremen − thedynamicarchive.net

Edith-Russ-Haus for Media Art, Katharinenstraße 23, D-26121 Oldenburg, Tel.: +49(0)441/235-3208, Fax.: +49(0)441/235-2161
Opening Hours: Tuesday - Friday 14:00 -18:00, Saturday - Sunday 11:00 - 18:00, Monday closed info@edith-russ-haus.de
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Stadt Oldenburg