Robot parts, vases and 'the cloud': This master sculptor is making a mash-up of past and future
'The object becomes this remix or a hybrid of having one foot in the past and one foot in the future'
Born in Dublin to Trinidadian parents of Asian descent, Vancouver-based artist Brendan Lee Satish Tang has created a body of work that reflects on his own multicultural experience. "I think a lot of my work is mash-ups or remixes of different things — exploring those feelings of hybridity, dualism or multiple experience happening at once," he says.
His pieces are heavily inspired by popular culture and include a mix of futuristic and traditional elements. For example, Tang gives traditional Chinese vases a futuristic update in the Manga Ormolu works by adding robotic prostheses inspired by Japanese anime and manga. The result is bold, playful and highly detailed sculptures that speak to issues of identity, cultural appropriation and the tension between technology and tradition. "The object becomes this remix or a hybrid of having one foot in the past and one foot in the future," he says.
Tang's craftsmanship in ceramics was recognized with a Vancouver Mayor's Arts Award this year, but the artist is taking the opportunity to explore new territories with meatspace, an upcoming exhibition at the Burrard Arts Foundation (BAF) in Vancouver. For this installation, Tang has created series of cloud-shaped sculptures made out of wood and black foam core. Using the cloud as a metaphor for our virtual and real lives, Tang continues to explore the intersections of different worlds and experiences. "I'm interested in creating a space where the viewer walks into that cloud that we upload all our information into, and see what that looks like sculpturally."
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