press release

The Luxembourg artist Su-Mei Tse was awarded the Golden Lion for the best national pavilion at the Venice art biennial in 2003. Since then, a big show of her work has been keenly awaited by many, in Luxembourg especially. This is the first time since her international success that such a complete monograph of her work has been devoted to her, with existing works (including L’écho, Les balayeurs du désert, Chambre sourde) and some new productions.

This exhibition combines light, sound, rhythm, music and pictures. Su-Mei Tse chooses her medium (installations, videos, photographs, objects, etc.) in function of the core idea behind the coming work. In this way, she stages Les balayeurs du désert [The Desert Sweepers] like a choreography where the sweeping is turned into music; in Mistelpartition, a row of trees morphs into a random musical score, sounding a visual music even for someone who cannot read the notes ; in L’écho [The Echo], the frail silhouette of a cellist tries out a musical dialogue with its own echo that comes back off a majestic mountain on the other side of a vertiginous chasm. For the artist, different perceptions can exist side by side within a single work and viewers can take them in according to their culture, sensibilities and personal references.

Su-Mei Tse’s work is characterized by a placing in suspension, moments of silence and an invitation to a degree of introspection. While the zen spirit emanating from it is obvious enough, this does not make her a ‘typically Asian’ artist. Through her Eurasian background, she has in her two cultures that she is constantly diverting or deflecting in order to shake off the clichés that usually go with them. But her work is also pervaded with humour, freshness and poetry, especially the surrealist objects like SUMY and Waiting Lovers.

With Su-Mei Tse, integration within the space, orientation and itinerary are all brought to bear in apprehending in the works. Thus, in the Casino Luxembourg exhibition, ‘the sun’ rises in the west (The Yellow Mountain). The artist also moves the usual entrance of a maze (equally present in eastern and western culture) by making the point of arrival the starting point. Labyrinthine art is seen as a long but enriching journey. Taking sidetracks, losing one’s way or making correct choices from among many possibilities are all elements that form a part of the artist’s creative process, marked by a strict academic musical training and roots in traditions that are too heavy to carry. Going on from there, calligraphy becomes neon lighting, painting video and vice-versa. Jetzt=Jetzt !

The exhibition catalogue is due out in April 2006.

Curator : Enrico Lunghi, artistic director of Casino Luxembourg - Forum d’art contemporain


only in german

Su-Mei Tse
Kurator : Enrico Lunghi,