VCA ART 2021

Darren Tanny Tan

Master of Contemporary Art

By a Thousand Cuts is concerned with the undecidable nature of photographic representation in relation to history. It is centred on and reworks the so-called ‘lingchi photographs’, a set of historical photographs depicting a specific form of public execution practised in China until the early 20th century.
Through a varied process of reproducing, layering, erasing, incising and fragmenting, deliberate acts of violating the surface erode the explicit horror in the lingchi photographs and alter them into a kind of anamnesis – a metonymic representation that at once recalls and dissolves the past. In doing so, By a Thousand Cuts holds in tension complexities concerning violence and the mutability of history.

Darren Tanny Tan, By A Thousand Cuts (Installation view), 2021.
Darren Tanny Tan, Lingchi #2, Archival pigment print, 2021.
Darren Tanny Tan, Death By Division #2, Mixed media on dye sublimation on aluminium, 2020.
Darren Tanny Tan, Supplices Chinois (detail), Steel, wood, acrylic, reproduced postcards, 2021.

We acknowledge and pay respect to the Traditional Owners of the lands upon which our campus is situated, the Boonwurrung and Woiwurrung people of the Kulin Nations, who have created art, made music and told their stories here for thousands of generations. We also acknowledge and extend our respect to the Traditional Owners of all lands on which our work is viewed, shared and enjoyed, and to all Elders, past, present and emerging.

This website may contain sensitive or triggering content