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Fiona Tan's work range from photographs to drawings, from digital installations to theatrically scaled projections. Tan’s evocative works are powerful investigations of identity and belonging in a world shaped by global culture. Much of her work expresses a long-standing interest in the documentary image, both personal and public, and the role of memory, time and place in the construction of identity. The artist’s explorations on issues of post-colonialism and displacement originate in her own biography straddling East and West. Born in Indonesia, to a Chinese-Indonesian father and an Australian mother, she was raised in Australia and moved to the Netherlands in her late teens where she studied at Rijksakademie, Amsterdam. Still, her work often suggests that displacement is part of everyone's life and everyone’s identity is in a constant flux.
Tan’s work has been shown in numerous solo and group exhibitions. She participated in various biennales including São Paulo Biennial, São Paulo (2010), Göteborg Biennial, Göteborg (2009), New Orleans Biennial, New Orleans (2008), Biennale of Sydney, Sydney (2006), Berlin Biennale (2001) and she also took part in documenta 11, Kassel (2002). In 2009, she represented The Netherlands at the Venice Biennale’s for the Dutch Pavilion. Tan’s recent solo exhibitions include: Inventory, Maxxi, Rome (2013), Disorient, Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow (2012), Point of Departure, Andalusian Centre of Contemporary Art, Sevilla (2012), Rise and Fall, a touring solo exhibition at Aargauer Kunsthaus, Aarau; The Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver (2010 – 2011).