Sung Tieu

Installation view, Sung Tieu, Zugzwang, Haus der Kunst, Munich, 31 January – 30 August 2020Installation view, Zugzwang, Haus der Kunst, Munich, 2020


Sung Tieu’s work contends with historiography and analyses the transnational movements of both people and objects. Her practice explores the vast and evolving protection and control industries, still rooted in the logic of the Cold War, used to restrict and mould subjects in subsequently globalized capitalism. Informed by her own experience of cultural collision and displacement, her work critically investigates the art-historical legacies of late Modernism.

Using diverse artistic mediums ranging from installation, sound, video, text, sculpture, photography, performance to public interventions, her practice navigates the diasporic experiences of temporal slippage and spatial uncertainty. Within her exhibitions, a sense of dislocation is evoked through a combination of sonic, visual, and textual elements; at the same time, her extensive research on sonic weaponry and sound as medium accentuates the work, demystifying and highlighting their material mechanics. Although based in research, her exhibitions deliberately resist any singular discursive rendering, and instead give rise to layered narrative readings.

Since 2016, Tieu has been engaged in a critical examination of psychological and bureaucratic warfare — their histories and effects—to uncover the socio-political and ideological mechanisms undergirding geo-political agendas. This interest resulted in video and sound installations such as In Cold Print (2020), Song for Unattended Items (2018) and Remote Viewing (2017). In these works, Tieu proposes that the legacy of a Cold War threat continues to propagate—that there is a persistent state of mitigated catastrophe dispersed within and contaminating our everyday realities, the alleviation of which is premised on differentiating signal from noise and the benign from the malignant. In installations such as Zugzwang (2020) and What is your |x|? (2020), and her series Newspapers 1969 - ongoing (2017 - ongoing), Tieu examines the culture of information and its institutionalised dynamics of transmission in our societies—whether through newspaper columns or astrological interpretations.

Apart from her solo practice, Tieu is part of several art collectives, engaging in collaborative, non-autonomous production; among them are TROI OI, East London Cable and Asia Art Activism.


Selected Solo Exhibitions

2021 AUSGEZEICHNET #5 Sung Tieu, Kunstmuseum Bonn, Bonn, DE (forthcoming)
TBC, Stiftung Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst Leipzig, Leipzig, DE (forthcoming)
TBC, Stedelijk Commission Amsterdam, NL (fortcoming)
Multiboy, Stiftung Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst Leipzig, DE
2020 What is your |x|?, Emalin, London, UK
In Cold Print, Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham, UK
Zugzwang, Haus der Kunst, Munich, DE
2019 Park Piece, Fragile, Berlin, DE
Formative Years on Dearth, Parrhesiades, The Yard & Flat Time House, London, UK
Loveless, Piper Keys, London, UK
2018 Song for Unattended Items, Royal Academy of Arts, London, UK
2017 Remote Viewing, Nha San Collective, Hanoi, VN
Coral Sea as Rolling Thunder, Art Basel Statements, Basel, CH
Memory Dispute, Sfeir-Semler Gallery, Hamburg, DE
2015 Emotion Refuge, Micky Schubert, Berlin, DE
Alien Refuge, FIAC Art Fair, Paris, FR
Subnational Enterprise, Dong Xuan Center & Kinderhook & Caracas, Berlin, DE
2014 TROI OI, in various Vietnamese flower shops in Berlin’s subway stations, Berlin, DE

Selected Group Exhibitions

2021 Preis der Nationalgalerie, Hamburger Bahnhof - Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin, DE 
Endless Garment 2, X Museum, Beijing, CN (forthcoming)
TBC, Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taipei, TW (forthcoming)
TBC, Kunstverein Hannover, Hannover, DE (forthcoming)
Though It’s Dark, I Still Sing, curated by Jacopo Crivelli Visconti, 34th Bienal de São Paulo, São Paulo, BR 
INFORMATION (Today), Kunsthalle Basel, Basel, CH
HI-STORYTELLING, Sfeir-Semler Gallery, Hamburg, DE
TBC, Antenna Space, Shanghai, CN (forthcoming)
For Refusal, Transmediale, Berlin, DE (forthcoming)
Politics of the Signifier, Deborah Schamoni, Munich, DE (forthcoming)
2020 Listening: Resonant Worlds, Arts Maebashi, JP
Storytelling, Sfeir-Semler Gallery, Hamburg, DE
Ars Viva 2021, Museum Angewandte Kunst, Frankfurt, DE
In the Forest, Even the Air Breathes, GAMeC Museum, Bergamo, IT
Paranoia TV, steirischer herbst ‘20, Kleine Zeitung, Graz and Klagenfurt, AT
Magical Soup, Hamburger Bahnhof, Museum for Gegenwart, Berlin, DE
Touch, Peles Empire, Berlin, DE
Recession Grimace, Klosterruine, Berlin, DE
Come closer, curated by Tereza Stejskalová & Vít Havránek 1st Matter of Art Biennale, Prague, CZ
Nameless. echoes, spectres, hisses, A.I. Gallery, London, UK
REALITY, Tropez, Berlin, DE
Real Time, Seventeen, London, UK
Platform: London, David Zwirner Online, London, UK
2019 We shall survive in the memory of others, Barbara Weiss Gallery, Berlin, DE
The Season of Cartesian Weeping, with East London Cable, David Roberts Foundation, London, UK
back there, Kunstverein Tiergarten, Berlin, DE
The Ghost War, WTF Gallery, Bangkok, TH
Mercury, Tallinn Art Hall, Tallinn, EE
While I Kiss The Sky, curated by Goschka Gawlik and Arkadiusz Półtorak, Senn Galerie, Vienna, AT
Empty Vase, Vacancy Gallery, Shanghai, CN
Open Studios, Villa Romana, Florence, IT
HybrID, Kunsthaus Hamburg, Hamburg, DE
Deep Sounding - History as multiple narratives, DAAD Galerie, Berlin, DE
S/F Photography, or a Monolith after 200 years, Kayoko Yuki Gallery, Tokyo, JP
Artists Use Photography, Praz Delavallade Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, US
Lifehacks, BQ Gallery, Berlin, DE
A Fear of Monsters, Asia Film Archive, Singapore, SG
2018 SKY PAINTING, with Cameron Irving, Unit 21, Penarth Centre, London, UK The Culture Collider, Manggha Museum of Japanese Art and Technology, Krakow, PL Diaspora, Ma Homey, Space _31, Berlin, DE UnAuthorised Medium, Framer Framed, Amsterdam, NL No War, No Vietnam, Galerie Nord, Kunstverein Tiergarten, Berlin, DE If you need guidance please ask you colleague, Mathias Güntner Gallery, Hamburg, DE Objects in the mirror are closer than they appear, Royal Academy of Arts, London, UK First I have to put my face on, Like A Little Disaster, Polignano a Mare, IT DECREATION, 51zero Film Festival, Whitstable Biennial, Kent, UK Domestic Detail, Play-Co, Studio Ed Fornieles, London, UK Die Stelle des Schnitts, film programme, Kunstverein Nürnberg, DE
2017 DECREATION, 51zero Film Festival, Rochester, UK DISPLA(Y)CED, Kunstverein Alte Feuerwache Loschwitz and in public spaces, Dresden, DE Original Fake, Maisterravalbuena, Madrid, ES The Stillness Of A Departure, Polansky Gallery, Prague, CZ Plazoleto, Skyline Plaza, Frankfurt am Main, DE
Gender, Identity and Material, Royal Academy of Arts, London, UK Premiums, Royal Academy of Arts, London, UK Neue Kunst In Hamburg, curated by Rhea Dall, Multiple Box, Hamburg, DE
2016 Park View, Frankfurt am Main, Berlin Project Space Festival, Berlin, DE This Is Your Replacement, Sies + Höke, Düsseldorf, DE
2015 W A R II, curated by Adam Carr, Mostyn, Wales, UK By Boat (Farewell), Gallery José Garcia, Mexico City, MX DEEP SKIN, Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNOlab), Ontario, CA Group Show, Micky Schubert, Berlin, DE



2015-2018 Postgraduate Programme, Royal Academy of Arts, London, UK
2012-2013 BFA, Goldsmiths College, University of London, UK
2009-2013 BFA, Hochschule für Bildende Künste Hamburg, DE