This week, Ira spoke with Laurens Tan.
Laurens Tan is an Australian sculptor and transdisciplinary artist who is currently living, and displaying his sculpture, in Las Vegas.
His work links sculpture, architectural and animated narrative space, graphics, industrial design, video and music, and his key tool for expression is 3D.
Born 1950 in Den Haag, Holland, Tan came with his parents to Australia in 1962, where he still resides and works, in addition to Las Vegas and Beijing..
Tan’s current and recent work considers shifts in cultural identity, language, customs and is most interested in how design & culture connect.
He has a B.Ed (Fine Arts) from the University of South Australia (1978), a Master of Creative Arts (MCA) in Visual & Cultural Identity, University of Wollongong, Australia (1991), and Doctor of Creative Arts (DCA) in Communications and Media, University of Technology Sydney (2006). His primary research site for doctoral thesis ‘The Architecture of Risk’ was Las Vegas, where he also has a base and music studio.
Tan served as Artist Advisory Group Member, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney (2004-06), as member of the Board of Directors, Asian Australian Art Association (4A), Sydney (1997-2007), the Wollongong City Gallery (2006-2008).
He has been academic coordinator in Art (since 1980) & Design (since 1992) in undergraduate and graduate programs in Australia, USA and China.
Tan is currently Adjunct Professor at Tianjin Academy of Fine Art (since 2006) and at LaTrobe University, Melbourne (since 2011).
His work has been curated in survey exhibitions at the University of Chicago, Beijing Center (2014-15), Asian Landmark, Iberia Center of Contemporary Art (2011), Fat Art, Today Art Museum (2010), PKM Gallery (2008) in Beijing, China Code (solo retrospective) at the Melvin Gallery, South Florida College, Lakeland Fl. (2013), and previously at the Boston Institute of Contemporary Art, Houston Museum of Art, USA, the Shizuoka Prefectural Art Museum, Japan and at the Australian National Gallery, the Art Galleries of New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland, Western Australia, Tasmania and the Sydney Powerhouse Museum in Australia.
Tan was awarded Australia China Council Artist-in-Residence in Beijing (2006 & 2007), and more recently also in Beijing: Beijing Changnanyuan Ceramics Company (2014) and the Australia China Art Foundation (2014) and previously at the Banff Centre, Alberta Canada, the Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris, the Queensland University Art Museum.
He was recently commissioned by the committee on Culture, Society and the Arts of the University of Chicago for new work in his solo exhibition Empire Bookends: Basketcase at the University’s Beijing Center (2014-15).