The Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo is presenting A for Agents, a solo exhibition of work by the Singaporean artist Ho Tzu Nyen. The exhibition consists of six film installations that span over 20 years of the author's creative life, and is also premiering two of the artist's most recent creations. In A for Agents, Ho Tzu Nyen seeks to address the geopolitical complexities that make up Southeast Asia, traversing through the historical events, political ideologies, and cultural identities that imbue this region with a unique flavor.

As an artist, Ho Tzu Nyen has primarily used the medium of the moving image to convey his reflections on clashing subjectivities in the world, drawing on existing film footage, archival materials, and documentation, which he combines into a dazzling and evocative array of images that are simultaneously evocative and abstract. He has also incorporated other media, such as installations, theater performances, and virtual reality into his works, all with the intent to unravel the complicated web of power structures which define the identity, history and nature of political units in Southeast Asia.

The earliest work that is featured in this exhibition is Utama – Every Name in History is I (2003), which subverts the modern narrative of Singapore's foundation by tracing its history to pre-colonial origins, when Sang Nila Utama founded the Kingdom of Singapura (The City of Lions in Sanskrit). Ho Tzu Nyen explores Singapore's past in the 3D animation One or Several Tigers (2017), where images of a Malay tiger and a human transform into embodiments of the ruler and subjugated, evoking the pre-colonial tiger as ancestral spirit. Two of Ho Tzu Nyen's most recent works, T for Time (2023) and T for Time: Timepieces (2023), are on display for the first time in this exhibition. Both works mark a turning point in the artist's practice, as he utilizes algorithms to generate sequences of images consisting of multiple fragments of sampled footage which bring to life differing aspects and scales of time.

Ho Tzu Nyen has most recently held solo exhibitions at Singapore Art Museum, Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, and at Toyota Municipal Museum of Art. The exhibition A for Agents is on display at Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo from April 6 to July 7, 2024. More information can be found at the museum's site.

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