Season 1 Episode 9: Laurens Tan, Artist


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Laurens Tan splits his time between Las Vegas, Beijing and Wollongong. He designed the Ox lantern for the Sydney Lunar Festival. Laurens was born in The Hague to Chinese Indonesian parents from Surabaya. At the age of 12, they migrated to Australia and while Laurens first got started in music and playing in bands, he eventually turned to studying art. His art practice has incorporated ceramics for many years, painting, and now innovative 3D installations that are seen in exhibitions all over the world.

Linking sculpture, architectural & industrial design, 3D animation & video, graphics and music, Laurens is concerned with the plight of a global trance as it affects cultural identity.

His work has been curated in international survey exhibitions at the Iberia Center of Contemporary Art, Today Art Museum (Beijing), at the Boston Institute of Contemporary Art, Houston Museum of Art (USA), Seoul National University Museum of Art, Gana Galleries (S. Korea), the Shizuoka Perfectural Art Museum (Japan) and at the National Galleries of New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland and the Sydney Powerhouse Museum in Australia.

Recent commissions: the City of Sydney giant Monkey lantern sculptures at the Sydney Opera House to celebrate the Lunar New Year (2016-18); at Zappos Downtown, Las Vegas (2016), Murray Art Museum Albury (MAMA, 2016), Rockhampton City Gallery (2017). His ‘Babalogic in the Desert’ is on exhibition at the Sahara West Library, Las Vegas for the year September 2017-18.

He is Adjunct Professor at Tianjin Academy of Fine Arts, China (since 2006) and LaTrobe University, Melbourne, Australia (since 2011).

He completed a Doctor of Creative Arts (DCA) in Communications and Media, University of Technology Sydney, Australia (2006- his thesis ‘The Architecture of Risk’ had Las Vegas as his focus and primary research site), a Master of Creative Arts (MCA) in Visual & Cultural Identity, University of Wollongong, Australia (1991).

He has served as academic coordinator in Art (since 1980) & Design (since 1992) and taught in undergraduate and graduate programs in Australia, USA and China.

Laurens served as Board member for the Asian Australian Art Association, Sydney (1997-2007), Wollongong City Gallery (2006-08) and Polytechnic Institute of Technology, Sydney (2016-current), and as Artist Advisory Group Member, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney (2004-06).

Artwork by Laurens Tan