LYNCH THAM presents the solo exhibition ‘Unwanted Celebration‘ of new works by Dutch artist Tiong Ang, his first in New York in five years, from April 2 until May 25, 2014. On Wednesday April 2, 6-8pm there will be an opening reception.
Within the complex oeuvre of conceptual artist/painter/filmmaker Tiong Ang (Surabaya, 1961), certain common elements about the nature of identity, cultural meaning and social absorption emerge. Using media specific to his topic, Ang explores people’s negotiations within an ethically and culturally hybridized world. His practice leads from solitary, painted pictures to situations are processed to signify the tension between an individual, subjective stance and a collective, normative order.
This exhibition is set up as a range of disparate images juxtaposed in a both sequential and spatial intervention that generates a ‘contradictory space’, where mutual contestation rules. All images, related to different projects -an unfolded sheet of white paper held by two pair of hands in an Indonesian rice field, a large black and white portrait of an enigmatic young sculptor at work, a small picture of Brad Pitt as a child, among others- carry with them both the moment of desire and that of revelation. The exhibition as a whole alludes to cinematic estrangement, a collision of cultures and trades, imposing the alienating impact of exoticism, and its parallels with our multifaceted, media driven society as a succession of promises and displacements.
The main filmic piece, ‘As The Academy Turns’, a tightly produced 25-minute soap opera, portrays different generations of artists and their entourage on the art school as a satire on modern day television drama, as nowadays the popular ‘image’ of the artist operating within social conditions is ‘on demand’. In order to reach a critical momentum of careless entertainment, the viewer is offered a stream of imaginary yet recognizable situations. Delivered in the context of the 2010 Manifesta Biennial, the film features different roles or stereotypes for artists; the ambitious, the secretive, the naiveté, the arrogant, the disillusioned, but in the parody narrative, it is never obvious which role will prevail.
Related to Ang’s documentary research project, ‘My Name is Pencil, that he showed recently at he showed recently at the Jogja Biennial, the spatial divider on the floor of the gallery space is a reconstruction of the artist’s personal quest to his so-called cultural and ethnic roots in Indonesia, taken ad absurdum; a model of a pencil, outsourced to a cement worker in the ghettos of Jakarta.
About Tiong Ang
Tiong Ang studied at the Rietveld Academy and Rijksakademie of Fine Arts in Amsterdam. He has widely exhibited internationally. He a.o. participated in the 12th Jogja Biennial (2013), 1st Tbilisi Triennial (2012), the Manifesta 8 Biennial (2010), Shanghai Biennale (2004 and 2008), the 49th Venice Biennale (2001), the Istanbul Biennial (1995) and the Biennale of Havana (1994). Work periods/ residencies in Senegal (1990), New York City (1996), Germany (1999), South Africa (2000), China and Indonesia (2002). His works are in the collections of the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, MUHKA Antwerp, Museum of Modern Art Arnhem, Museum The Pavilioens, Almere, corporate collections as those of Akzo Nobel, the Dutch Central Bank, Rabobank, ABN Amro and in numerous private collections. Tiong Ang lives and works in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.