Tiong Ang presents How To Act for his solo show at Lumen Travo Gallery. How To Act does not refer to an instructive manual for aspiring play-actors, but aims to rethink the complexity of the artistic process itself and its temporal and spatial impulses. He tests the possibility of an enactment, or an acted play of himself by others, to be more precise: his artistic position, image or practice enacted by other, younger artists. The act of acting, by offering lucid pretensions, play behaviour, and masked performance is represented by a loose group of performers in a theatrical set sculpture in the exhibition space. This work forms part of Tiong Ang’s commitment to collaborative projects exploring a multitude of artistic positions and subjectivities. Over the past few years he has produced films and installations that display a wide array of quasi- theatrical enactments, working with professional or amateur actors to link terms of global histories with personal and emotive narrations.

“What I try to do is complex, but also quirky and simple. At the stage and behind the screen, I invite a number of young artists, who are also performance artists, to act out positions, actions or activities that would engage in an imitation or interpretation of myself, to speculate on the idea that the author (in this case ‘Tiong Ang’) could be simply replaced by another. In this experiment, the participants are invited to perform and resemble a synchronicity of my practice and theirs. I simply asked them to be Me. They are asked to portray Me, so that I can see Them as Self Portraits. I know, it sounds ridiculous. But I’m serious. It’s all in the service of liberation, excess, triviality, exposure and productive artistry.” Tiong Ang

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In a minimalistic set, a white table has been set up as a wedge between the screens that are draped as black transparent veils.

Hiroomi Horiuchi
The performer reads fragments of ‘Jonas / The Artist at Work’, from Exile and the Kingdom, by Albert Camus, in Japanese. Then he maps the space with small photographs of Tiong Ang, leaving them behind on little stacks at peculiar places. Later he mounts white canvases on white easels, measures the space with a meter, records time with a stopwatch and weighs materials on a small scale. He constructs small temporary sculptures using coins, rolls of cellotape, newspapers and drawing equipment, and lets them fall apart again.

Robert Wittendorp
Mixing animalistic vaudeville, drag and bondage Robert Wittendorp’s performance sculpts minimal postures of defiance and defeat. His presence at the stage is both exhibitionist posture and escapist behaviour. Using animal masks, colourful panther-print shawls, tape, rope and above all his body.

Alejandro Ramirez
Has changed the gallery lighting to be used as theatrical device, by mounting a lighting dimmer. He mixes different soundtracks and sounds towards an ambivalent soundscape from a laptop computer. Setting up cinematic lights enables him to filmily capture the two performers’ presence in the space as.