Fiona Tan

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Tan, Fiona
Born 1966
Pekanbaru, Indonesia
Nationality Indonesian
Known for video and film installations

Fiona Tan (born 1966 in Pekanbaru, Indonesia), is a visual artist who is primarily known for her photography, film and video installations. She is best known for her skillfully crafted and intensely moving installations, in which explorations of identity, memory and history are key.[1] Over the past twenty years her work has gained increasing international recognition. Tan has had solo exhibitions in museums and galleries worldwide including the New Museum, New York, Vancouver Artgallery, Sackler Galleries, Washington DC, Aargauer Kunsthaus, Switzerland, Akademie der Künsten, Berlin, Kunstverein Hamburg, Konsthal Lund, Landesgalerie Linz, Musée d'Art Contemporain, Montréal, Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles.[2]

In 2009 she represented The Netherlands at the Venice Biennale with the solo presentation ‘Disorient’. She has participated in Documenta 11, the Yokohama Triennale, the Berlin Biennale, Sao Paulo Biennial and also at the Istanbul Biennial, the Sydney Biennial and Asian Pacific Triennial. Her work is represented in many international public and private collections including the Tate Modern, London, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Schaulager, Basel, the New Museum, New York and the Centre Pompidou, Paris.[2]

Early life[edit]

Fiona Tan was born in 1966 in Pekanbaru, Indonesia to an Indonesian Chinese father and Australian mother.[3] Tan spent her early childhood in Melbourne, Australia.[3] Tan has been living in Europe in 1984. She currently lives in Amsterdam, the Netherlands and in Los Angeles, US.[4]


Tan studied at Gerrit Rietveld Academie and the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunst.[5]

She has been guest lecturer at many art institutions including professor at the postgraduate programme De Ateliers, Amsterdam (2006 - 2014) and Kunsthochschule Kassel (2014–15).

In 2016 she directed her debut film, History's Future.[3] Her second feature film Ascent premiered at the 2016 Locarno International Film Festival.[6][7] Currently Tan is artist in residence at the Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles.[4]

Select Solo Exhibitions[edit]

Select Group Exhibitions[edit]

  • "Ecce Homo", The National Museum of Art, Osaka, Japan (2016) [21]
  • "NO MAN'S LAND", Rubell Family Collection, Miami, United States (2015–16) [22]
  • "FUTURE PRESENT", Schaulager, Laurenz Foundation, Basel, Switzerland (2015–16) [23]
  • "Paradise Lost", CCA, Singapore (2014) [24]
  • "Go-Betweens", Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan (2014) [25]
  • Suspended Histories, Museum van Loon, Amsterdam (2013)
  • Inseldasein, DAAD Galerie, Berlin (2013)
  • Le Pont, Musée d'Art Contemporain, Marseille
  • Beyond Imagination, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam (2012)
  • Arte torna arte, Galleria dell'Accademia, Florence (2012)
  • Autobiography, Espace Culturel Louis Vuitton, Paris (2012)
  • Status, Fotomuseum Winterthur (2012)
  • Moving Portraits, De La Warr Pavilion, UK (2011)
  • Expanded Cinema, MMOMA, Moscow (2011)
  • Architectural Environments for Tomorrow, MOT Tokyo (2011)
  • Architecture Biennale, Venice (2010)
  • São Paulo Biennial, São Paulo (2010)
  • Ich zweifellos, Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg (de), Wolfsburg (2010)
  • Rethink Kakotopia, Nikolaj, Copenhagen Contemporary Art Center (2009)
  • Self and Other, National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka (2009)
  • Art Unlimited, Art Basel (2008)
  • Breeze, cur. Marja Bloem, Gallery Nelson Freeman, Paris (2008)
  • The Tropics Martin- Gropius-Bau, Berlin (2008)
  • Be(com)ing Dutch Van Abbemuseum, Eidenhoven (2008)
  • Cine y Casi Cone, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia Museum, Madrid (2007)
  • Global Multitude, Rotunde, Luxemburg (2007)
  • L’oeil ecranou la nouvelle image, Casino Luxembourg (2007)
  • Museum of Contemporary Art of Bucharest, Romania (2007)
  • Contour, Museum Prinsenhof, Delf (2007)
  • Biennial of Moving Images, Geneva (2007)
  • Deutsche Börse Photography Prize, Photographer’s Gallery; Berlin (2007)
  • Gallery, Berlin; Neue Börse, Frankfurt (2007)

Prizes and awards[edit]

2016-17 Getty Artist-in-Residence Fellowship, Los Angeles [26]
2007 Deutsche Börse Photography Prize (nominee)
2004 ICP Infinity Award for Art, New York
2003 Artes Mundi Prize, Cardiff (nominee) 1998 J.C. van Lanschot Prize for sculpture, Belgium/The Netherlands


2003 IASPIS grant and residency, Stockholm
2001-02 DAAD scholarship and residency, Berlin


  • Mariska van den Berg; John Berger; Lynne Cooke; Heddy Honigmann; Stephan Schmidt-Wulffen; Dominic van den Boogerd (2001). Mariska van den Berg, ed. Fiona Tan, Scenario. nai010. ISBN 9789056621827. *
  • Francesco Bonami; Joel Snyder; Tessa Jackson (2004). Fiona Tan: Correction. Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. ISBN 9780933856844. 


  1. ^ "Introducing",, Retrieved 13 August 2014.
  2. ^ a b "Fiona Tan biography" (PDF). 
  3. ^ a b Guy Nichols, Matthew. "Fiona Tan", Art in America, Retrieved 12 August 2014.
  4. ^ a b "News from the Getty | Getty Research Institute Announces 2016/2017 Scholars In Residence and Artist In Residence Fiona Tan". Retrieved 2017-03-09. 
  5. ^ Tan, Fiona (c. 2009). Rise and Fall. Vancouver: Vancouver Art Gallery. p. 103. ISBN 9781895442793. 
  6. ^ "Ascent". Retrieved 2017-03-09. 
  7. ^ "Locarno goes Dutch | Nederlands Film Festival". (in Dutch). Retrieved 2017-03-09. 
  8. ^ "release". De Pont museum. Retrieved 2017-03-09. 
  9. ^ "Fiona Tan: Disorient - Guggenheim Museum Bilbao". Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. Retrieved 2017-03-09. 
  10. ^ Kunst, MMK Frankfurt am Main | Museum für Moderne. "Ausstellung Details ::: MMK Frankfurt am Main". (in German). Retrieved 2017-03-09. 
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  18. ^ "Fiona Tan. Inventory", MAXXI Museum, Retrieved 12 August 2014.
  19. ^ Milliard, Colline. "Image of a People: Fiona Tan Assembles an Intimate Portrait of London from Old Family Photos", ArtInfo, Retrieved 12 August 2014.
  20. ^ "Fiona Tan", Vancouver Art Gallery, Retrieved 12 August 2014.
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External links[edit]