22 – 31 January 2021
Tanjong Pagar Distripark

The Critical Dictionary of Southeast Asia

Ho Tzu Nyen

2017, ongoing
Single-channel HD video, algorithmic editing system, 5-channel sound, LED lights, PC
Duration: Infinite
Installation dimensions variable

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‘The Critical Dictionary of Southeast Asia’ (CDOSEA) begins with a question: What constitutes the unity of Southeast Asia – a region never unified by language, religion or political power? CDOSEA proceeds by proposing 26 terms – one for each letter of the English alphabet. Each term is a concept, a motif, or a biography, and together they are threads weaving together a torn and tattered tapestry of Southeast Asia. The Dictionary has, since its inception in 2012, generated a number of filmic, theatrical and installation works by Ho Tzu Nyen. From T (for Tiger) and W (for Weretiger), emerged Ten Thousand Tigers (2014), 2 or 3 Tigers (2015), Timelines (2017) and One or Several Tigers (2017). The Nameless and The Name (both 2015) came out of L (for Lai Teck) and G (for Gene Z. Hanrahan) respectively. Since 2016, Ho Tzu Nyen has been working with a group of collaborators to ‘manifest’ the Dictionary as a whole. With Berlin-based programmers, Jan Gerber and Sebastian Lütgert (0x2620), a platform for absorbing and annotating online materials was created to “feed” an Editing System that endlessly composes new combinations of audio-visual materials according to the 26 terms of the Dictionary.

About the Artist

Ho Tzu Nyen (b. 1976, Singapore) has been widely exhibited with one person exhibitions at the Edith-Russ-Haus for Media Art, Oldenburg (2019), Kunstverein, Hamburg (2018), Ming Contemporary Art Museum, Shanghai (2018), TPAM, Yokohama (2018), Asia Art Archive (2017), Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao (2015), Mori Art Museum, Tokyo (2012) and Artspace, Sydney (2011), amongst others. He also represented Singapore at the 54th Venice Biennale (2011). Recent group exhibitions include MOCA, Busan (2019), Aichi Triennial 2019, Toyota City and Nagoya City (2019), Sharjah Biennial 14, Sharjah (2019), Gwangju Biennale, Gwangju (2018), amongst others. He has participated in numerous international film festivals including Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah (2012) and the 41st Directors’ Fortnight at the Cannes International Film Festival in France (2009). He was an Artist-in-Residency at the DAAD (Berlin) from 2015 to 2016, and the Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong (2012 to 2015).

Ho Tzu Nyen will be presenting his works at Edouard Malingue Gallery.