Ho Tzu Nyen (Singapore and Berlin)

T for Tiger

What happens when forest surveyors collide with a Malayan tiger in the middle of a Singaporean jungle in 1835? Tracing Malayan cosmological beliefs about tigers embodying ancestral spirits, and other layers of intersecting histories, the artist deconstructed a 19th century drawing by Heinrich Leutemann “Unterbrochene Straßenmessung auf Singapore (Interrupted Road Surveying Singapore)”, to open up a swarm of stories about human-animal relationships, the politics of colonial surveys, and the organization of convict labor in the British Settlements.

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Ho Tzu Nyen’s participation in FIELD MEETING is supported by Kadist Art Foundation (San Francisco) and Asia Art Archive in America.

Ho Tzu Nyen, T for Tiger, 2016. Lecture Performance documentation FIELD MEETING: Thinking Practice, November 11th at Solomon R. Guggenheim. Photo: Renata Carciofolo.


Ho Tzu Nyen works primarily in film, video, and performance, and more recently, environmental multimedia installations. He appropriates the structures of epic myths, invoking their grandeur while revealing them to be not merely stories, but discursive tools. He is particularly interested in exploring false accounts of histories that are invented by contemporary figures to serve their needs by re-constructing and re-imagining philosophical and historical texts and artefacts. Tzu Nyen has had significant solo and group exhibitions at the Guggenheim Bilbao (2015), DAAD Galerie (2015), Mori Art Museum, Tokyo (2012), the Singapore Pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennale (2011) and Artspace, Sydney (2011); the 6th Moscow Biennale (2015); the 10th Shanghai Biennale (2014); the 2nd Kochi-Muziris Biennale (2014); the 6th Asia-Pacific Triennial, Queensland Art (2009) and the 26th Sao Paulo Biennale (2004); Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo (2015); Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw (2015); Guggenheim New York (2013); Witte de With (2013, 2012). His theatrical works have been presented at the Asian Arts Theatre, Gwangju (2015); Wiener Festwochen (2014). His films have been presented at the Berlin Film Festival (2015); Sundance Film Festival (2012); Cannes Film Festival (2009); Venice Film Festival (2009); Locarno Film Festival (2011) and Rotterdam (2008, 2010, 2013). Tzu Nyen was awarded a DAAD                                                                                                                                                  Scholarship in Berlin (2014 – 2015) and the Grand Prize of the Asia Pacific                                                                                                                                                  Breweries Foundation Signature Art Prize (2015).

                                                                                                                                                                   Ho Tzu Nyen, Ten Thousand Tigers, 2014. Live Performance, documentation.