Yuk King Tan – Overflow

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Media Release: November, 2005. 

City Gallery Wellington is delighted to announce that Yuk King Tan’s solo project Overflow will open on 27 November. This is Tan’s first solo show in a Wellington public gallery.

Yuk King Tan is one of New Zealand’s most acclaimed young artists. Of Chinese descent, born in Australia and raised in New Zealand, Tan graduated from Auckland’s Elam School of Art in 1993. Since then, she has garnered international recognition for her practice that uses various media (including video, sculpture, photography and site-specific installations) to explore ideas about cultural identity, global politics, trade, power and consumption.

"The collection will include pieces that suggest status, control and power: designer goods next to copies of designer goods; iconic masks; toys of violent role-play such as guns, tanks, shells; figurines; models; replica money, paper tokens of symbols of wealth. There will be a profusion of objects to make sense from, like the cornucopia of a market."

Tan notes that her use of this assortment of significant objects and throwaway goods could be seen as a critique of consumerism, but that this reading is complicated by the visual spectacle created when she marshals her army of consumer items into a gleeful explosion of colour and shape.

Tan’s installation will follow a rule of repeated forms and patterns that references the geometric form of a snowflake, a phenomenon that Tan has been using as an organising principle in recent work. Tan has also been altering and adorning these objects, dripping and pouring coloured sealing wax over them. The colours she uses are inspired by the colouring of microscopic organisms: vivid blues and yellow, with ruby red shades used to emphasise key objects.

City Gallery Wellington director Paula Savage says: "We are thrilled to be presenting this exciting project. Yuk King Tan is known for her double-edged works: gorgeous visual spectacles that pack a conceptual punch. We would also like to acknowledge Telecom for their ongoing support of City Gallery Wellington’s mission to present the work of young New Zealand artists to a wide audience."

City Gallery Wellington is producing a catalogue to accompany and document Yuk King Tan’s project (due in mid December 2005). A programme of public events will also accompany the exhibition.

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ARTIST BIOGRAPHY

Yuk King Tan was born in Australia and brought up in New Zealand. Since graduating from Elam School of Art, University of Auckland, in 1993, Tan has been steadily making and exhibiting work. She is one of New Zealand’s most acclaimed young contemporary artists, with a long running track-record of national and international exhibitions. Her work has been included in the exhibitions Remember New Zealand, 26 Bienial de Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo; Centre of Attraction, the 8th Baltic Triennial, Lithuania; Telecom Prospect 2001: New Art New Zealand, City Gallery Wellington; Flight Patterns, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; and Toi Toi Toi, Auckland Art Gallery, Auckland and Museum Fridericianum, Kassel. She has held artists residencies at the Ludwig Forum für Internationale Kunst in Aachen; Artspace, Sydney; and Camden Arts Centre, London.