NewsCurrent and Forthcoming Exhibitions
No Man's Land
2 December 2015 - 28 May 2016
Rubell Family Collection, Miami
13 February - 29 May 2016
Museum Arnhem, NL
Fiona Tan, The Geography of Time
20 February - 28 August 2016
4 June - 5 September 2016
Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Canada
17 June - 26 November 2016
Tasmania Museum and Art Gallery, Hobart
Ascent - Fiona Tan
17 July - 16 October 2017
Izu Photo Museum, Japan
Fiona Tan. Geografie der Zeit
17 September 2016 - 15 January 2017
Museum für moderne Kunst, Frankfurt
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IntroducingFiona Tan is an artist working primarily with film and video. She is best known for her skillfully crafted and intensely moving installations, in which explorations of identity, memory and history are key.
Fiona Tan initially became known for a body of work that relied on the use of archival films, questioning the observer and the observed and challenging the assumptions of the colonial past. Portraiture has been explored in various works combining an analysis of its art-historical and sociological context with how time influences our perception of those portrayed. Recent works concentrate on how memory is connected to images in our mind and on how inaccurate and yet creative memory can be. Throughout her work Tan shows a continuing interest in the motivations of the traveler or explorer. The question how we represent ourselves and what mechanisms determine how we interpret the representation of others, are repeatedly being investigated, revealing what is behind and also beyond the confines of the image.
Both poetic and subversive, Tan’s work is characterized by great attention to detail, accomplished editing of sound, word and image and the careful use of the sculptural space and architecture in which a piece is presented. These elements combine to produce a sensory experience equal to its intellectual content. The elements of man’s existence – our sensual impressions, the interplay of memory, knowledge and image, and our awareness of time and space – seem to collide and merge into one intensified experience of being. Tan is, as one writer put it, an artist of ‘images that refresh the gaze.’
Early works such as Facing Forward (1998) have been analyzed from a post colonial perspective, while her explorations of the portrait genre address notions of the self and the complex status of the portrait as a medium of representation. Countenance (2002) and The Changeling (2006) have been discussed within the discourse on the archive and archival principles. Notions of painting seem to surface in her use of colors, the visual richness of the images and the quiet, timeless character of the viewing experience. Whilst the spatial concerns that lie at the heart of how her installations are conceived, recall the concerns of sculpture.
Tan has participated in many international exhibitions including the Documenta and the Biennales of Sao Paulo, Istanbul, Sydney and Yokohama. In 2009 Tan represented The Netherlands at the Venice Biennale. Her work is represented in numerous international public and private collections including the Tate Modern, London, the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam and the New Museum, New York.
Fiona Tan lives and works in Amsterdam. She is represented by Frith Street Gallery, London and Wako Works of Art, Tokyo.
History's Future, 2016Depot (BALTIC), 2015Depot, 2015Ghost Dwellings, 2015Ghost Dwellings I-III, 2014Options & Futures, 20141 to 87, 2014Apocalypse, 2014Nellie, 2013Inventory, 2012Vox Populi London, 2012Vox Populi Limited Edition, 2012Diptych, 2011Seven, 2011Hans & Helge, 2011Levensloop, 2011Brendan’s Isle, 2010Empty House, 2010Roof Tiles, 2010Housegod Shrine, 2010Cloud Island, 2010A Fool’s Paradise, 2010Cloud Study I, 2010Cloud Island I, Project for the Venice Architecture Biennale, 2010Vox Populi Switzerland, 2010Rapids, 2010Rise and Fall, 2009Disorient, 2009Projection, 2009Provenance, 2008Närsholmen I-VI, 2008Island, 2008Study for Provenance, 2008A Lapse of Memory, 2007Vox Populi Tokyo, 2007Study for a Portrait, 2006The Changeling, 2006 West Pier I-V, 2006Vox Populi Sydney, 2006sketches for A Lapse of Memory, 2006Tomorrow, 2005Correction, 2004Vox Populi Norway, 2004News from the Near Future, 2003Tilt, 2003Downside Up, 2002Countenance, 2002Saint Sebastian, 2001Rain, 2001Marebito, 2001Kingdom of Shadows, 2000Lift, stills, 2000Lift, silkscreen, 2000Lift, 2000Car Wreck Cinema, 2000Thin Cities, 1999Tuareg, 1999Facing Forward, 1999Calendar Girl, 1999Slapstick, 1998Cradle, 1998Linnaeus’ Flower Clock, 1998Roll I & II, 1997May You Live In Interesting Times, 1997Smoke Screen, 1997n.t. (Leidsestr.), 1997Message, 1997Witness, 1996Atlas of the Interior, 1995Skating – Schaatsen, 1995Totenklage/Lacrymosa, 1993Stolen Words, 1992Various production and installation photos, 0000
1 to 87, 2014A Fool’s Paradise, 2010A Lapse of Memory, 2007Apocalypse, 2014Atlas of the Interior, 1995Brendan’s Isle, 2010Calendar Girl, 1999Car Wreck Cinema, 2000Cloud Island, 2010Cloud Island I, Project for the Venice Architecture Biennale, 2010Cloud Study I, 2010Correction, 2004Countenance, 2002Cradle, 1998Depot, 2015Depot (BALTIC), 2015Diptych, 2011Disorient, 2009Downside Up, 2002Empty House, 2010Facing Forward, 1999Ghost Dwellings, 2015Ghost Dwellings I-III, 2014Hans & Helge, 2011History's Future, 2016Housegod Shrine, 2010Inventory, 2012Island, 2008Kingdom of Shadows, 2000Levensloop, 2011Lift, 2000Lift, silkscreen, 2000Lift, stills, 2000Linnaeus’ Flower Clock, 1998Marebito, 2001May You Live In Interesting Times, 1997Message, 1997 n.t. (Leidsestr.), 1997Närsholmen I-VI, 2008Nellie, 2013News from the Near Future, 2003Options & Futures, 2014Projection, 2009Provenance, 2008Rain, 2001Rapids, 2010Rise and Fall, 2009Roll I & II, 1997Roof Tiles, 2010Saint Sebastian, 2001Seven, 2011Skating – Schaatsen, 1995sketches for A Lapse of Memory, 2006Slapstick, 1998Smoke Screen, 1997Stolen Words, 1992Study for a Portrait, 2006Study for Provenance, 2008The Changeling, 2006Thin Cities, 1999Tilt, 2003Tomorrow, 2005Totenklage/Lacrymosa, 1993Tuareg, 1999Various production and installation photos, 0000Vox Populi Limited Edition, 2012Vox Populi London, 2012Vox Populi Norway, 2004Vox Populi Switzerland, 2010Vox Populi Sydney, 2006Vox Populi Tokyo, 2007West Pier I-V, 2006Witness, 1996
May You Live In Interesting Times, 1997
video, 60 min.
digital betacam safety master
English and Dutch versions
DVD available from:
Frith Street Gallery, London
Solo ExhibitionsTerminology, Metropolitan Museum of Photography, TokyoTerminology, National Museum of Art, OsakaMuseum für Gegenwartskunst, SiegenKoldo Mixtelena, San SebastianCAAC - Centro Andaluz De Arte Contemporaneo, SevillaSackler Galleries, Washington D.C.Aargauer Kunsthaus, AarauVancouver Art GalleryMusée d'Art Contemporain, MontréalVilla Arson Nice, Centre National d'ArtGalerie der Hochschule für Gestaltung und Kunst, Luzern