Tate Britain Talk

Performance as Site of Memory: Performing Art History in Vietnam and Singapore

Organised jointly by Tate Research Centre: Asia and the SOAS Centre of South East Asian Studies, this seminar will look at four artists, Loo Zihan, Koh Nguang How, Tran Anh Quan and Nguyen Van Tien, who have created performance pieces that narrate art historical events or that make references to the art historical past. These works feature documentation, art history or archives as the work itself, rather than the aftermath of the work. They not only comment on art history but also on the nature of performance art, documentation and the role of the archive in art history. More than making art history present and performative, these artists are proposing to look at performance art events as sites of memory and counter memory, or lieux de mémoire as the historian Pierre Nora has called them. In other words, sites that challenge the public and the audience to recall certain events and their individual histories.

Nora A. Taylor is the Alsdorf Professor of South and Southeast Asian Art at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is the author ofPainters in Hanoi: An Ethnography of Vietnamese Art (Hawaii 2004 and NUS Press 2009) as well as numerous articles on Modern and Contemporary Vietnamese and Southeast Asian Art. She is currently at work on a book project on Vietnamese and Singaporean performance artists' uses of history.

Tate Research Centre: Asia has been established with generous support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Additional support provided by Vicky Hughes and John Smith.  

If you would like to learn more about the seminar, please email chloe.julius@tate.org.uk

Tate Britain

London SW1P 4RG
Plan your visit

Date & Time

6 May 2016 at 16.00–17.30

Find out more

  • Performance art

    Performance art is where an action or series of actions becomes the artwork