Sung Tieu (Visual Arts, 2019)Song for Unattended Items,Royal Academy of Arts, London. 2018

Sung Tieu

Shortlisted in 2019 for Visual Arts

Sung Tieu is a London-based visual artist whose work takes place at the intersection of transnational movement, global capitalism and the cultural incursions of dematerialised art traditions. Tieu’s own emigration from Vietnam to Germany is central to her work, impelling her to address Post-Cold War histories and the diasporic experience of unfixed temporal and spatial certainties.

Her practice contends with issues of social and cultural class divide through the lens of her personal narratives, post-colonial identity and cultural membership. Through performance, installation, moving image and sound, she conveys a sense of dislocation, often deliberately eluding narrative legibility. Using artwork as assemblage, her multi-layered installations, such as Song for Unattended Items (2018), Remote Viewing (2017) and Coral Sea As Rolling Thunder (2017) compose the exhibition as a complex space of sensorial experience. Within it, Tieu examines the sublimatory potential of minimalist art while resisting any singular discursive translation.

Tieu’s invocation and juxtaposition of the past through images of the present, in video works such as Memory Dispute (2017) and No Gods, No Masters (2017), demand an engagement through abstract connections in order to interpret, query and remember.

Tieu is part of several art collectives, engaging in collaborative, non-autonomous production; one of them is Asia Art Activism, a cross-disciplinary and intergenerational network of artists, curators and academics who aim to question Asian/Southeast Asian invisibility within institutional narratives of British art and politics. They are currently in residence at Raven Row, London.