Laurens Tan - FIT Babalogic in the DesertJuly 17 - September 1, 2017Clark County Government Center, Las Vegas, NVReception & Artist Talk on Friday, August 11 from 6-8 pm with artist talk at 6:30 pm
Laurens Tan’s work consists of both 2D and 3D components: a sculptured Tower of Babel painted with two video works which address the problems of linguistic barriers and communication. The Tower of Babel symbolizes both the creativity and limitation of mankind. According to the original biblical account, Babel was the first city to be built after the Great Flood. The people of Babel decided their city should have a tower so immense that it would have “its top in the heavens”. But because this structure was dedicated to the glory of man instead of God, to punish their vanity God confused their languages and scattered people throughout the globe. Borrowing this legend, Laurens Tan raises an important question concerning our own society: Has ongoing globalization brought a solution to the traditional language barrier? His images seem to express a certain skepticism. In particular, the schematized images in the accompanying video simulate the computational coding needed to learn and remember words & sounds in putonghua (standard Chinese) for English speakers. In the words of the artist, it shows that “the parallax in memory is different but similarly frustrating for both Chinese speakers learning English and English speakers learning Chinese”.
Laurens Tan (1950) is an Australian sculptor and transdisciplinary artist. Born 1950 in Den Haag, Holland, Laurens came with his parents to Australia in 1962. His work links sculpture, architectural and animated narrative space, graphics, industrial design, video and music, his key tool for expression is 3D. 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.