Artist: Sung Tieu
Venue: Emalin, London
Exhibition Title: What is your |x|?
Date: September 19 – November 7, 2020
Selected By: Tenzing Barshee
Note: A text associated with the exhibition is available here.
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of Emalin, London. Photos by Plastiques.
Emalin is pleased to present What is your |x|?, a solo exhibition of new works and a site-specific installation by Sung Tieu. This is the artist’s first solo exhibition with the gallery.
What is your |x|? considers how our internal voices influence the material outcome of our decisions. On the central wall, a quasi-bank vault cut from sheets of stainless steel – titled Natal Chart 12 July 1987, Sunday 06:46 USZ6 – 07:00 Hai Duong, Vietnam; 20°N56’ 106°E19’; Geocentric – Tropical – Porphyry – True Node to 15 August 2020, Sat 09:46 USZ6 – 7:00 Hai Duong, Vietnam; 20°N56’ 106°E19’; Geocentric – Tropical – Porphyry – True Node (2020) – holds at its centre a silkscreened mirror displaying Tieu’s birth chart, including its transition to 2020 on the outer circles. The heavy steel structure, made from 3mm sheets layered on top of each other, presents a snapshot of the sky at the exact time and location of the artist’s birth. For the realisation of this project, Tieu had her stars interpreted by astrologist Zoe Mercury, probing her about the potential alternative lives she could have lived.
Eight large doors each host a text in the font Goldman Sans silkscreened on a mirrored window. The written content is derived from the artist’s conversations with the astrologer and designate the interior voices of eight different character traits and their respective mental states. Articulated in the form of horoscopes addressing an unknown ‘you’, the texts describe distinct psychological conditions, alluding to potential decisions made along the way. The doors are cut from the same stainless steel mounted against the walls of the space, trompe l’œil and oversized with nowhere to go. The series – titled Pleasure Scenario, Breakdown Scenario or Ego Scenario(all 2020) – assumes tones that are humorous and tongue in cheek at times, serious and bleak at others. The doors introduce perceptions a person might hold in relation to themselves, and with it, their potential outlook on life. Drawing on Jung’s eight Personality Types, they explore the psyche based on three dichotomies: introversion vs. extraversion, thinking vs. feeling, sensation vs. intuition.
In What is your |x|?, Tieu’s ongoing research into psychology and its potential susceptibility for manipulation spills into the sphere of the personal. How does the sound of our inner voices guide and shape our material world? What do we differentiate as mental health versus mental illness? Why are certain character traits deemed more desirable than others? And how is that dividing line established based on societal norms and economic pressures?
Sung Tieu (b. 1987, Hai Duong, VN) lives and works in Berlin and London. She completed her BFA at the University of Fine Arts Hamburg, Germany, in 2013, and the Postgraduate Programme at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, in 2018. Recent solo exhibitions include Zugzwang, Haus der Kunst (Munich, DE, 2020); In Cold Print, Nottingham Contemporary (Nottingham, UK, 2020); Park Piece, Fragile (Berlin, DE, 2019); Formative Years on Dearth, Parrhesiades (London, UK, 2019) and Loveless, Piper Keys (London, UK, 2019). Forthcoming exhibitions include Paranoia TV, Steirischer Herbst (Graz, AT, 2020); AUSGEZEICHNET #5: Sung Tieu, Kunstmuseum Bonn (Bonn, DE, 2021); INFORMATION (Today), Kunsthalle Basel (Basel, CH, 2021); In the Forest, Even the Air Breathes, GAMeC Museum (Bergamo, IT); Taipei Fine Arts Museum (Taipei, TW, 2021) and Though It’s Dark, I Still Sing, curated by Jacopo Crivelli Visconti, 34th Bienal de São Paulo (São Paulo, BR, 2021).
*The stainless steel mirror sheets are grade 304 / 1.4301. Each sheet weighs 23.75 kg per square meter.
*‘Natal Chart 12 July 1987, Sun 06:46 USZ6 – 07:00 Hai Duong,Vietnam; 20°N56’ 106°E19’; Geocentric -Tropical – Porphyry – True Node to 15 August 2020, Sat 09:46 USZ6 – 7:00 Hai Duong, Vietnam; 20°N56’ 106°E19’; Geocentric -Tropical – Porphyry -True Node’ (2020):TheTwelth House in astrology, which encloses most of the planets inTieu’s birth chart, represents the realm of collective unconscious. It is the house of the inner soul, secrets, creativity and spirituality. It also represents the house of entrapment, isolation and mental illness.
*The scenarios described on the door windows explore the psyche based on three dichotomies, after C. G. Jung: introversion versus extraversion, thinking versus feeling, sensation versus intuition.
*The font used in the exhibition is Goldman Sans, a typeface Goldman Sachs released in June 2020. As their license outlines, the font is free to use for any purpose as long as the user does not utilise it to criticise the company Goldman Sachs.
Link: Sung Tieu at Emalin