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Published in Modern Painters, 11 September 2012
They are photographs of strangers, yet we’ve see them countless times: toddlers grinning from foamy bathtubs, teenagers awkwardly showing off their first party dresses, granddads cuddling newborns. Local variations aside, they could be found pretty much anywhere, stuck on the yellowing cardboard pages of hefty photo albums. These pictures form Fiona Tan’s primary material for “Vox Populi.” In this series of wall pieces and books begun in 2004, the Indonesian-born, Amsterdam-based artist has selected and rearranged images she sourced in locations as varied as Norway, Switzerland, Tokyo, and Sydney, each time creating a multifaceted portrait of the place through the photographs of the people who live, or lived, in each locale.
Published in Time Out, October 2010
Narrative is but one softly spoken weapon in Fiona Tan’s disarming armoury, but she knows how to weave a magical tale or two. A short audio piece translates a Dutch fable about an Irish monk’s nine-year journey to ‘Brendan’s Isle’, a mystical, blessed rock, only to return home the minute he lands. Needless to say, no one ever finds it again - it’s a construct about mental space, rather than a physical place.
Related Exhibitions: Fiona Tan: Cloud Island and other new works
Published in Art in America, September 2010
Projection was one of three works featured in Tan’s recent solo show. Fittingly, it is also the first video that visitors encounter in “Fiona Tan: Rise and Fall,” an exhibition at the Vancouver Art Gallery of seven films and video installations made over the past five years. Organized by senior curator Bruce Grenville, the show demonstrates Tan’s abiding interest in portraiture, her thoughtful interrogation of the genre’s traditional modes and limitations, and her inventive use of film and video technology to deepen our understanding of her subjects’ identities.
Published in The Herald , April 2010
Published in The Art Blog, March 2010
Both videos cannot be seen at the same time, the viewer must literally move from a symbolic past to a contemporary present, all while hearing words from history brought to life. Tan asks her viewer to inhabit a complex space, traversing time and space and consequently creating a multiplicity of new meanings.
Published in Amsterdam Weekly, August 2008
Published in RIBA Journal, October 2007
‘I am trying to do the impossible and answer the question, is it possible to imagine a world beyond east and west? Henry is my astronaut. He is in both worlds, in limbo.’ - Fiona Tan
Published in Telegraph Magazine, 20 January 2007
Much of Tan’s work is concerned with remixing existing images in a manner that gives the result an ethnographic kick. Rediscovered photographic portraiture, for example, is the key to her video installation The Changeling
Published in The Observer, 31 December 2006
Published in Time Out, October 18-25 2006
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