CURA.

Sung Tieu
What is your |x|?

Emalin, London
September 19 – November 7, 2020

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Press release

Emalin is pleased to present What is your |x|?, a solo exhibition of new works and a site-specific installation by Sung Tieu.
This is the artist’s first solo exhibition with the gallery. What is your |x|? considers how our internal voices influence the material outcome of our decisions.

On the central wall, a quasi-bank vault cut from sheets of stainless steel - titled ‘Natal Chart 12 July 1987, Sun 06:46 USZ6 - 07:00 Hai Duong, Vietnam; 20°N56’ 106°E19’; Geocentric - Tropical - Porphyry - True Node to 15 August 2020, Sat 09:46 USZ6 - 7:00 Hai Duong, Vietnam; 20°N56’ 106°E19’; Geocentric - Tropical - Porphyry - True Node’ (2020) - holds at its centre a silkscreened mirror displaying Tieu’s birth chart, including its transition to 2020 on the outer circles. The heavy steel structure, made from 3mm sheets layered on top of each other, presents a snapshot of the sky at the exact time and location of the artist’s birth. For the realisation of this project, Tieu had her stars interpreted by astrologist Zoe Mercury, probing her about the potential alternative lives she could have lived.

Eight large doors each host a text in the font Goldman Sans silkscreened on a mirrored window. The written content is derived from the artist’s conversations with the astrologer and designate the interior voices of eight different character traits and their respective mental states. Articulated in the form of horoscopes addressing an unknown ‘you’, the texts describe distinct psychological conditions, alluding to potential decisions made along the way. The doors are cut from the same stainless steel mounted against the walls of the space, trompe l’œil and oversized with nowhere to go. The series - titled “Pleasure Scenario”, “Breakdown Scenario” or “Ego Scenario”(all 2020) - assumes tones that are humorous and tongue in cheek at times, serious and bleak at others. The doors introduce perceptions a person might hold in relation to themselves, and with it, their potential outlook on life. Drawing on Jung’s eight Personality Types, they explore the psyche based on three dichotomies: introversion vs. extraversion, thinking vs. feeling, sensation vs. intuition.

In What is your |x|?, Tieu’s ongoing research into psychology and its potential susceptibility for manipulation spills into the sphere of the personal. How does the sound of our inner voices guide and shape our material world? What do we differentiate as mental health versus mental illness? Why are certain character traits deemed more desirable than others? And how is that dividing line established based on societal norms and economic pressures?

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Installation view, Sung Tieu, What is your |x|?, Emalin, London, 
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Sung Tieu, What is your |x|?, 2020 silkscreen on stainless steel mirror, Goldman Sans, stainless steel in 8 parts 
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Sung Tieu, What is your |x|?, 2020 silkscreen on stainless steel mirror, Goldman Sans, stainless steel in 8 parts (detail: Inertia Scenario) 
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Sung Tieu Natal Chart 12 July 1987, Sun 06:46 USZ6 - 07:00 Hai Duong, Vietnam 20°N56’ 106°E19’ Geocentric Tropical Porphyry True Node to 15 August 2020, Sat 09:46 USZ6 - 7:00 Hai Duong, Vietnam 20°N56’ 106°E19’ Geocentric Tropical Porphyry True Node, 2020 silkscreen on stainless steel mirror, Goldman Sans, stainless steel 
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Sung Tieu Natal Chart 12 July 1987, Sun 06:46 USZ6 - 07:00 Hai Duong, Vietnam 20°N56’ 106°E19’ Geocentric Tropical Porphyry True Node to 15 August 2020, Sat 09:46 USZ6 - 7:00 Hai Duong, Vietnam 20°N56’ 106°E19’ Geocentric Tropical Porphyry True Node, 2020 silkscreen on stainless steel mirror, Goldman Sans, stainless steel 
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Sung Tieu Natal Chart 12 July 1987, Sun 06:46 USZ6 - 07:00 Hai Duong, Vietnam 20°N56’ 106°E19’ Geocentric Tropical Porphyry True Node to 15 August 2020, Sat 09:46 USZ6 - 7:00 Hai Duong, Vietnam 20°N56’ 106°E19’ Geocentric Tropical Porphyry True Node, 2020 silkscreen on stainless steel mirror, Goldman Sans, stainless steel 

Feature image: Installation view, Sung Tieu, What is your |x|?, Emalin, London

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