Ho Tzu Nyen, Hotel Aporia, 2019 / video still / Courtesy of the artist and Kiang Malingue
Ho Tzu Nyen: Time & the Cloud
Jun 4 – Aug 4, 2024
Art Sonje Center
Seoul, South Korea

Art Sonje Center is delighted to present Ho Tzu Nyen: Time & the Cloud, a comprehensive solo exhibition showcasing the artistic journey of Singaporean artist Ho Tzu Nyen. Spanning two decades of his practice, this expansive exhibition explores complex layers of modernity in the postcolonial contemporary Asia. Ho’s exploration transcends geographical boundaries, delving into social, cultural, political, and economic realms across Southeast Asia and beyond.

For Ho, modernity in Asia is a complex and multilayered cultural phenomenon that cannot be explained solely by the Western dialectical logic of progress. This artistic perspective is evident in his seminal work, The Critical Dictionary of Southeast Asia (2012-2017). In this dictionary, various databases collected under the specific keywords are first alphabetized, then algorithmically activated, revealing the hybridity of Southeast Asia’s modernity, which cannot be neatly organized in the form of an encyclopedia in the modernist sense. This groundbreaking research serves as the foundation for Ho’s latest endeavor, T for Time (2023-2024) and Timepieces (2023-2024), presented for the first time in Korea.

Coproduced by Art Sonje Center and the Singapore Art Museum, T for Time expands Ho’s algorithmic methodology. In this two-channel video installation, Ho embarks on an epic journey through his personal experiences and artistic evolution, exploring the mythical and cultural perceptions of time in both Eastern and Western contexts. This comprehensive research project invites audiences to delve into the complex tapestry of historical narratives and contemporary realities that shape our understanding of temporality. Timepieces, a video installation consisting of 43 monitors, condenses the essence of Ho’s exploration, offering viewers a profound new perspective on the nature of time.

Ho Tzu Nyen: Time & the Cloud unveils the lingering awe, fantasies, fears, and frustrations entwined with the experience of modernity in Asia, casting them as spectral presences hovering over contemporary societies and cultures. Through the exhibition, visitors encounter the echoes of imperialism, the legacies of colonialism, and the paradoxical situations faced by those who navigated these tumultuous times. Designed to immerse audiences in the vast stream of cosmic time, the exhibition paints a picture of the present shaped by the collisions, misunderstandings, appropriations, and reconciliations of multiple modernities.

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