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Sung Tieu, Zugzwang
Sung Tieu

Solo exhibition

Sung Tieu (b. 1987, Hai Duong, Vietnam) has been commissioned to create a new exhibition for Mudam’s Henry J. and Erna D. Leir Pavilion. Working with a range of media including sculpture, drawing, text and sound, Tieu’s immersive installations consider the discrete visual codes embedded within institutional structures and their systems, raising questions of equality, governance and individual sovereignty.

The work of Sung Tieu combines a sensitivity to linguistic and aesthetic codes with a rigorous, analytical approach to subject matter. Her exhibitions are often the culmination of extensive research that is foregrounded by and interlaced with autobiographical details. Previous projects have, for instance, considered the work and living conditions of the Vietnamese Vertragsarbeiter (contract workers) in the GDR in the 1980s or the bureaucratic processes for seeking asylum in our current times. Another body of work contrasts the use of psychological or sonic weapons in Vietnam in the 1970s with the more recent phenomenon of the so-called Havana Syndrome in Cuba. Throughout these projects, she has addressed how social or political control is imposed or reinforced via industrial design.

The subject of abstraction features both via art historical references but also as an organising force that processes and filters information, privileging sameness over difference and order over chaos. As such the aesthetics of late twentieth-century art and design are often brought into relation with contemporary questions of data collection and manipulation, addressing topics that include migration, displacement and identity.

Tieu will create a new exhibition for the museum’s Henry J. and Erna D. Leir Pavilion, an iconic architectural space designed by Ieoh Ming Pei (b. 1917, Guangzhou; d. 2019, New York). IIt will be the first museum solo exhibition of her work outside of Germany.

Biography
Sung Tieu (b. 1987, Hai Duong, Vietnam) studied at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste,
Hamburg; Goldsmiths College, London; and the Royal Academy of Arts, London. She has held solo exhibitions at Kunstmuseum Bonn; Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst, Leipzig (2021); Nottingham Contemporary; and Haus der Kunst, Munich (2020). Her work is included in the 34th Bienal de São Paulo and was exhibited in group survey exhibitions at Museion, Bolzano; Kunsthalle Basel (2021); Museum Angewandte Kunst, Frankfurt; GAMeC Museum, Bergamo; Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin (2020) and Kunsthaus Hamburg (2019). She received the 2021 Frieze Artist Award and the 2021 Ars Viva award. She is nominated for the 2021 Preis der Nationalgalerie, Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin. She lives and works in Berlin.

Credits

Location:
Mudam Henry J. and Erna D. Leir Pavilion
Curator:
  • Michelle Cotton, assisted by Clémentine Proby