Natalie Tan

Curatorial Projects

Ho Rui An
Sun, Sweat, Skirt, Fan

September 7-29, 2018
Centre A (Vancouver, Canada)

In September 2018, Centre A presented Sun, Sweat, Skirt, Fan, Singaporean artist Ho Rui An’s first solo exhibition in Canada. The exhibition featured two works: Solar: A Meltdown (2014-) and Great Fans (Assortment) (2018).

Solar: A Meltdown is a performance lecture that begins in Amsterdam’s Tropenmuseum, at the sweaty back of a wax figure of Dutch anthropologist Charles Le Roux, and from there navigates tropes of sweltering tropical heat and perspiration to examine the relationship between the Empire and the colonial subject. Drawing upon historical and fictional media, Ho looks at the establishment of an imperial global domestic—an all-encompassing, air-conditioned planetary interior—held together by the labour of those at the margins. Departing from the historical, Ho reflects upon an underclass of invisible workers in our current periphery, and the contemporary resonances of how colonial histories remain and inform how the world is structured. Great Fans (Assortment) is a new work that draws upon an inventory of what Ho describes as “tropicopolitan objects.”

Centre A invited Ho and his work to Vancouver as a means to facilitate a broader consideration of the historical and ongoing impact of British colonialism on Asian bodies in both global and local contexts.

Sun, Sweat, Skirt, Fan was accompanied by a performance lecture by the artist at Centre A titled Tropicopolitan Objects on September 14th.

Ho Rui An is an artist and writer working in the intersections of contemporary art, cinema, performance and theory. He writes, talks and thinks around images, with an interest in investigating their emergence, transmission and disappearance within contexts of globalism and governance. He has presented projects at the Gwangju Biennale (2018), Yinchuan Biennale (2018), Jakarta Biennale (2017), Sharjah Biennial 13 (2017), Kochi-Muziris Biennale (2014), Haus de Kulturen der Welt, Berlin (2017), Jorge B. Vargas Museum and Filipiniana Research Center, Manila (2017), NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore (2017), NUS Museum, Singapore (2016), Para Site, Hong Kong (2015), Hessel Museum of Art and CCS Bard Galleries, Annandale-on-Hudson (2015) and Witte de With, Rotterdam (2014). He is a recipient of the 2018 DAAD Berliner Künstlerprogramm. He lives and works in Singapore and Berlin.

Exhibition documentation: Lindsay Wu 
Performance documentation: Christy Lum