Fiona Tan | Ideas of Utopia
BORCH Gallery & Editions is delighted to present two new photogravure projects by Fiona Tan. The exhibition Ideas of Utopia in BORCHs Butik is part of Copenhagen Photo Festival 2019.
A strange glow pervades Fiona Tan’s Shadow Archive, illuminating a well-organized collection of endless archival drawers. The starting point for the series of six black-and-white photogravures originates from Tan’s fascination for the Belgian visionary Paul Otlet (1868–1944), and his ambitious idea to catalogue all human knowledge in order to build world peace.
Together with Henri La Fontaine, Otlet developed the idea of a grand utopian scheme. As part of their vision, they initiated the creation of a world archive, the Mundaneum, in 1895. Today, the Mundaneum is known as the ‘Paper Google’ and considered a milestone in data collection and management, the basic idea behind the Internet.
‘FASCINATED BUT ALSO PUZZLED BY HIS GRAND AND IMPOSSIBLE VISIONARY DREAM, I HAVE DESIGNED AND CONSTRUCTED A CIRCULAR BUILDING TO HOUSE HIS IMAGINARY ARCHIVE. BUT IN KEEPING WITH THE DIGITAL ERA WE CURRENTLY LIVE IN, THIS UTOPIAN ARCHITECTURE, WHICH I HAVE DRAWN UP AS REALISTICALLY AS POSSIBLE AND ON A SCALE OF ONE TO ONE, HAS BEEN BUILT ENTIRELY DIGITALLY, USING CGI COMPUTER SOFTWARE.’ – Fiona Tan
The exhibition also includes the series Studies for Elsewhere, 2018, in which utopian notions are the starting point for Fiona Tan’s personal encounter with the city of Los Angeles.
Fiona Tan, born in 1966 in Pekanbaru, Indonesia, currently lives and works in Amsterdam. Fiona Tan works primarily with photography, film and video installation. Her works relate to themes such as identity, memory and history, often based on thorough research. Her latest project is currently part of her solo exhibition Shadow Archive at Musée des Arts Contemporains in Hornu, Belgium.
Learn more about Fiona Tan