Ho Tzu Nyen, R for Resonance, 2019
Installation with VR 360-degree video, ambisonic sound through headphones, single-channel HD video projection, 5-channel sound, dimensions variable. 
Co-produced by Sharjah Art Foundation, Rockbund Art Museum Shanghai and Edouard Malingue Gallery
Courtesy of the Artist and Edouard Malingue Gallery



Opening 21 February, 7 pm

Curated by Emanuele Guidi

In his first solo exhibition at an Italian institution, the artist Ho Tzu Nyen presents “R for Resonance”, the latest addition to his ongoing project “The Critical Dictionary of Southeast Asia (CDOSEA)”.

Started in 2012, CDOSEA is a long-term research project about the artist’s native ‘Southeast Asia’, a regional identity forged and imposed by the British colonial powers in the 1940s as a means of uniting and administering a vast territory populated by communities with a huge variety of languages, beliefs and forms of socio-political organization. By constantly expanding CDOSEA Ho Tzu Nyen produces a sustainable methodological approach that allows for continual critical investigations into the identity of a region shaped by hazy boundaries.

R for Resonance comprises a virtual reality (VR) experience, a video and sound installation and a wall text edited specifically for this iteration at ar/ge kunst. It is a composite environment that articulates the audience’s encounter both with the work’s multiple layers of meaning and with the complexity of the artist’s practice, which traverses various media and disciplines including film, theatre, music and writing.

Here Ho Tzu Nyen explores the phenomenon of resonance as a quality associated with the sound of the gong, a cast bronze instrument used for the spiritual and social music rituals common throughout the region. Its resonance is advanced as a ‘key conceptual engine’ for thinking about Southeast Asia and how its many elements relate to each other. In this context the VR experience operates as an immersive editorial machine that favours a mode of understanding other than reason; as a technology that supports bodily, cognitive and empathic knowledge it allows us to move through the entanglement of living and non-living subjects, landscapes and materials, climates and histories that populate and constitute Southeast Asia.


Ho Tzu Nyen studied Fine Arts at the Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne and Southeast Asian Studies at the National University of Singapore. Solo exhibitions include, among others: Artspace, Sydney (2011); Mori Art Museum, Tokyo (2012); Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong (2017); McaM, Shanghai (2018); TPAM, Yokohama (2018); Edith Russ Haus, Oldenburg (2019). In 2011, Ho represented Singapore at the 54th Venice Biennale. Recent group exhibitions (selection): 10. Shanghai Biennial (2014); Guggenheim, Bilbao (2015); Guggenheim, New York (2016); QAGOMA, Brisbane (2016); House of World Cultures, Berlin (2017); Dhaka Art Summit, Dhaka (2018); Gwangju Biennial, Gwangju (2018); National Gallery, Singapore (2018); Sharjah Biennial 14 (2019). In December 2019 Ho Tzu Nyen has been listed in the Power 100 by Artreview among the most influential people in the contemporary art world.

With the kind support of:
Provincia Autonoma di Bolzano, Ripartizione Cultura
Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio
Comune di Bolzano, Ripartizione Cultura
Dr Schär