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Illustration of people dancing in front of a giant screen with lasers coming out.

Celebrate the Extraordinary opening ceremony, ASEAN Para Games (2015). Photo by Yan Tuck Hong.

Kai Syng Tan – We sat on a mat and had a chat and made maps!

Visual arts | 2017 Main Commissions

Region: North

A roving participatory installation celebrating mind-wandering, magic carpets, mapping, making, making small talk and making things up.

Artist-curator Dr Kai Syng Tan creates a new installation to celebrate mind-wandering — with the help of a scientist, your participation and a colourful carpet.

Channeling the exuberance of Grayson Perry’s legendary tapestries, drawing on research on the neuroscience of the restless mind under the mentorship of Professor Philip Asherson (Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, Kings College London), as well as her lived experience as mind-wandering extraordinaire, Kai creates a mind-map in the form of a large, intricately-designed tapestry. The carpet ‘takes off’ when audiences sit on it, chat about their mind-wandering, and capture their discussions/disagreements/discoveries in the form of mind-maps that they will co-create. Selected maps, as well as commissioned texts and Kai’s sketches and first-hand findings about mind-wandering and tapestry-weaving, will be documented in a limited-edition illustrated publication. The exhibition and book launch takes place at the iconic Art Workers Guild.

Irritating the boundaries between imagination and pathology, traditional craft and digital art, art practice and scientific research, artist and audience, high art versus ‘outsider’ art, the piece opens up a discursive and poetic space to visualise and make visible the restless mind, and to celebrate the power of creativity.

Collaborators: Professor Philip Asherson/Kings College London, UKAAN; Submit to Love Studios/Headway East London; Philip Tan/Philbeat; Michael Larsson/Ohsoweird; Krisztina Lackoi; Richard Wright.

Kai is an artist, curator and researcher. She is currently a Research Fellow at Leeds College of Art and Visiting Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Studies, University College London.

kaisyngtan.com