Mountain Pass: Negotiating Ambivalence Catalogue

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Mountain Pass: Negotiating Ambivalence Catalogue 

A solo exhibition by Zen Teh (SG), curated by Hera

13 July – 10 August 2019

Mizuma Gallery is pleased to announce Mountain Pass: Negotiating Ambivalence, a solo exhibition curated by Hera, featuring Singaporean artist Zen Teh.

Mountain Pass: Negotiating Ambivalence is a solo exhibition by Singaporean artist Zen Teh first presented at Selasar Sunaryo Art Space, Bandung, Indonesia from January to March 2019, as a result of her artist residency from November 2018 to January 2019. The exhibition involved interdisciplinary collaborations between Zen Teh (artist) with Made Ananta (local research collaborator), Aldiansyah Waluyo (documentary videographer), Hera (art writer and researcher), Rinaldi Ikhram (geologist), and Chabib Duta Hapsoro (curator), thus emphasising the subject of human-landscape interactions as a multifaceted pursuit that is aesthetic, cultural and scientific at the same time.

In its second presentation, Mountain Pass: Negotiating Ambivalence will be curated by Singapore-based art writer and researcher Hera, and will present selected works produced and exhibited in Selasar Sunaryo Art Space, Bandung, Indonesia.

The term mountain pass refers to a route which provides an entry point through the otherwise lofty and formidable mountain topography. The mountain pass allows people to approach and learn from the mountain, but it is also a potential gateway towards the exploitation of an otherwise inaccessible area.

In the period of her residency, Zen studied the geomorphology of Bandung, a city located on the site of an ancient caldera. In particular, she consulted geologists, local collaborators and residents regarding construction sites in Dago, an area in north Bandung undergoing relentless urbanisation and gentrification. Her research sheds light on a mesh of wicked problems surrounding the issues of land stewardship, economic growth and the sustainability of the residents’ living environment. Through her practice, Zen reflects upon the conception of the landscape, as well as the individual’s agency towards socio-ecological sustainability.

Mountain Pass: Negotiating Ambivalence consists of mixed media installations, stone, metal assemblages, and photographic sculptures. The exhibition will also be accompanied by documentary videos of the artist’s process in Bandung, offering an opportunity for Singapore audience to be more immersed in the artworks and to better understand the multi-faceted pursuit of human-landscape interaction in Southeast Asia that the exhibition explores.

Zen Teh (b. 1988, Singapore) graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, majoring in Photography and Digital Imaging from Art, Design, Media, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore in 2011. Aside from her artistic practise, Zen serves as a visual arts educator at School of the Arts (SOTA), in the Media Arts Department. Her solo exhibitions include the recent Mountain Pass: Negotiating Ambivalence at Selasar Sunaryo Art Space, Bandung, Indonesia (2019); Garden State Palimpsest at ARTIST+RUN, Bangkok, Thailand (2018); and Vestiges: Tracing Urban-nature at Alliance Française de Singapour, Singapore (2017). Zen has also exhibited regionally in Thailand, Taiwan and, China, as well as participated as an invited guest speaker at regional environmental conferences such as ASEAN Powershift 2015 and Hanoi Innovation Week 2016 on Sustainability. She was the finalist for the IMPART Awards 2019 and has been awarded the winning title for the 7th France+Singapore Photographic Arts Award. Zen Teh lives and works in Singapore.