A solo show dedicated to Singaporean artist Ho Rui An featuring videos and performances from one of his latest bodies of work, alongside new objects related to it.
Ho Rui An is a storyteller of a new kind. In perfectly staged lecture-performances, the artist tells the hidden stories behind the official ones, assisted by various images, books, and other props. Asia, the Unmiraculous (2018) speaks about the Western concept of Asia and the so-called East Asian Miracle, referring to the rapid economic growth of the Four Asian Tigers between the 1960s and 1990s, which ended with the financial crisis of 1997. The artist, in traveling between times and geographies, explains how the figure of the Asiatic worker as well as that of the interventionist Asian leader have always been incorporated in a biased and racialized vision of Asian economic and political governance, considered to be imperfect in comparison to fully deregulated Western liberalism. In Student Bodies (2019), the artist begins with the Chōshū Five – key political figures in Japan during the early Meiji era (1868–1877) who were sent to London to study – moving on to investigate the Western (ultra-liberal) education of a great deal of Asian bureaucrats since then.
Drawing his material from specialist literature, the covers of news magazines, Hollywood films, and museum displays, Ho navigates between storytelling, iconographic inquiry, economic analysis, and journalistic investigation, sometimes following an implacable logic and at other times jumping or drifting around – but always with a subtle wit. In spite of the variety of methodologies, topics, and imageries invoked, the common denominator of Ho’s works is his analysis of the ways in which (Western-monitored) financial capitalism and its ideology of deregulation has pervaded, through any and all means, all regions of the earth and all realms of life, even the imaginary.