7 Lock Road, #02-13 Gillman Barracks
Singapore, 108935 Singapore
Friday, June 27, 2014–Sunday, August 10, 2014
Ota Fine Arts is delighted to present We are home and everywhere a solo exhibition
by Singaporean artist Zai Kuning, his debut with the gallery. Having worked with an
array of sculpture, installation, painting and drawing, experimental sound and music,
video, film, performance art, dance and theatre for more than two decades, Kuning
resists convenient categorical claims to his art-making. Today he is considered one of
the most versatile artists working in the region, and a pioneer of avant-garde practice
After an extended break with the visual arts, Kuning returns to present a new body of work
informed by his ongoing research on the Orang Laut — “sea gypsies” or nomadic
indigenous fishermen living in the Riau Archipelago — and the survivors of the massive
earthquake, tsunami and Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear disaster of 2011. Kuning comments on
how these groups have been dictated by external circumstances beyond their control, have
lost their homes, and are in search of a place of rest where they can rebuild their lives.
Thus both communities — though relatively far-removed from each other — have resonated
with Kuning’s own personal journey, and he has spent time living intermittently between
Tokyo, Singapore and Riau. Throughout his travels, from being constantly uprooted and
moving from one place to another, his work has come to reflect upon issues of
displacement and rupture.
With objects made primarily with beeswax, a material that has been perfected by nature to
create a safe haven for honey bees, Kuning iterates these socio-political, religious and
environmental concerns through the poetic and the allegorical.