Fiona Tan, Travel Stories – Ariane Noël de Tilly

[Summer 2023]

Fiona Tan, Travel Stories
By Ariane Noël de Tilly


Travel and the human relationship with time, nature, and history are among the themes that Fiona Tan most often addresses in her work. Born in Pekanbaru, Indonesia, Tan grew up in Australia and then moved to Amsterdam, where she studied at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, from 1988 to 1992, then at the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten, from 1996 to 1997. In 2009, she represented the Netherlands at the 53rd Venice Biennale, for which she created the installation Disorient, inspired in part by the Italian explorer Marco Polo’s accounts of his travels. The images of the places visited by Polo, projected on two screens, didn’t correspond at all to his observations, which were read by an off-screen voice; rather, they revealed a more fanciful written description of those places.1 Tan’s recent exhibition, Mountains and Molehills, presented at the Eye Filmmuseum in Amsterdam, brought together seven installations and a series of photographs taken from 2002 to 2022.2 The careful selection offered an excellent demonstration of how Tan, in recent decades, has handled a theme such as travel in a way that is very different from one work to the next. In addition, the books and documents placed in showcases were a reminder of the diverse sources that she draws on while developing original, complex works…

[ Complete issue, in print and digital version, available here: Ciel variable 123 – THE POWER OF INTIMACY ]
[ Complete article, in digital version, available here: Fiona Tan, Travel Stories – Ariane Noël de Tilly ]