Upcoming Exhibition

Ho Tzu Nyen: Time & the Cloud

June 4 – August 4, 2024

Space 1, Space 2, Art Hall, Art Sonje Center

Ho Tzu Nyen: Time & the Cloud

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 Asia as a whole.

For the artist, modernity in Asia is a complex and multilayered cultural phenomenon that cannot be explained solely by the Western dialectical logic of progress; it can be summed up as “multiple modernities”. This artistic perspective is evident in his seminal work, Critical Dictionary of Southeast Asia (2012-current). In this dictionary, various databases collected under the two main axes of “Southeast Asia” and “modernity” 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 and T for Time: Timepieces (2023-current, hereinafter Timepieces), 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 also highlights how Ho’s persistent exploration of modernity expands to the exploration of everyday life in the complex operation of politics, culture, and time. Ho explores the present of Asia as a newborn space shaped by the encounters and clashes between West and Asia, Asia and Asia, empire and colony, and colony and colony. Yet, the artist’s exploration goes beyond simple binary oppositions; it seeks to articulate the present of Asia as a site where many different modernities collide and shatter, where we understand and misunderstand, and where new possibilities are generated and expanded.

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.

About the Collaboration
In 2022, the Art Sonje Center and the Singapore Art Museum collaborated to explore Ho Tzu Nyen’s artistic world and co-produce T for Time, in collaboration with M+, with support from Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo and Sharjah Art Foundation, and the Korean Foundation for International Cultural Exchange. On November 22, 2022, the Art Sonje Center organized the symposium “The Critical Dictionary of Ho Tzu Neyn: Contemporaneity and Locality” together with the Singapore Art Museum as part of the Korean Foundation for International Cultural Exchange 2022 ASEAN-Korea Art and Culture Collaboration Project. This joint effort led to two versions of the exhibition: Ho Tzu Nyen: Time & the Tiger at the Singapore Art Museum from October 2023 to March 2024, and Ho Tzu Nyen: Time & the Cloud at the Art Sonje Center from June 4 to August 4, 2024. Ho Tzu Nyen: Time & the Tiger is organized by Singapore Art Museum and Art Sonje Center in collaboration with the Hessel Museum of Art and Mudam Luxembourg—Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean.

About the artist
Ho Tzu Nyen(b. 1976)
Ho Tzu Nyen is a Singaporean media artist and filmmaker who creates works based on historical and philosophical texts. His series of works, including Critical Dictionary of Southeast Asia, explore the complexities of the Southeast Asian region, challenging its homogenization within the Western dialectical historical framework; they illuminate the distinct cultural identity and unique modernity found in different parts of Asia. In his video works, the artist adopts a format in which the images are not played sequentially but algorithmically, questioning the singular temporality of history and addressing the multi-dimensional space-time of Asia that emerges from the overlap and collision of past and future. His major solo exhibitions include Ho Tzu Nyen: A for Agents (Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, 2024), Ho Tzu Nyen: Time & Tiger (Singapore Art Museum, 2023), Voice of Void (Japan Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media, 2021), and The Cloud of Unknowing (Spain Guggenheim Bilbao, 2015). His major group exhibitions include Shéhérazade, at night (Palais de Tokyo, 2022), Imagined Borders (Gwangju Biennale, 2018), Mapping Asia (Asia Art Archive, 2014). He represented the Singapore Pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennale. Together with Taiwanese artist Hsu Chiawei, he co-curated the 7th Asian Art Biennial entitled The Strangers from beyond the Mountain and the Sea. He was selected as a resident of the DAAD Artist-in-Berlin Program from 2014 to 2015, won the APB Foundation Signature Art Prize in 2015, and was awarded the Chanel Next Prize 2024.

June 4 – August 4, 2024
Space 1, Space 2, Art Hall, Art Sonje Center
Co-Organized by
Art Sonje Center, Singapore Art Museum
Jang Un Kim (Director, Art Sonje Center), Je Yun Moon (Project Director, Art Sonje Center)
Yein Lee (Curatorial Assistant, Art Sonje Center), Seoyoung Choi (Assistant Curator, Art Sonje Center)
Sponsored by
Arts Council Korea
Production funded by
Korean Foundation for International Cultural Exchange