LOOK at galleries and images. I am a visual thinker and make things visible, have visions, envisage better things and problematise, interrogate reality. I make drawings, installation, maps, exhibitions, masterclasses, change. READ words and wordplay, op-eds, blog posts, academic articles, book chapters, theses, hypertext, image as text / text as image, writing about and as art, art about /through writing, scripts for my performance-lectures and provocations, and others ways to take some ownership of words. Currently also articulating a dyslexic mode of creative intervention.
I have investigated running as an arts and humanities discourse and artistic research paradigm since 2009. I am described as ‘absolutely central’ and ‘instrumental’ (Whelan 2015) in leading and broadening ‘Running Studies’. My work displays ‘radical interdisciplinarity’ (Latham, 2016). A theatre researcher states that ‘it is the artist, curator, and researcher Kai Syng Tan who has done the most in seeking to develop an interdisciplinary discourse around running art and performance (Filmer 2020).
‘Run Riot’ (2019) is a chapter in Handbook on Methods and Applications for Mobilities Research, Edward Elgar (2020). The structure of the text follows philosopher Jean-Jaques Rousseau’s 1778 Reveries of a Solitary Walker, and it activates a dyslexic approach to writing.
Celebrate the Extraordinary (2015) was a practice-led investigation that outlines an inclusive approach to artistic collaboration. It centred on the £4 million opening and closing ceremonies of 8th ASEAN Para Games in 2015, commissioned by the Singapore government.
This paper runs through the RUN! RUN! RUN! Biennale’s origins, curatorial framework, and its impact.
As we move from the immediate crisis towards new ones, we need atypical thinkers, agile doers and creative problem-solvers who thrive in unknowns. A call for a more inclusive and creative socio-political ecosystem.
Post on British Medical Journal blog May 2019 which argues for ‘soft and pure’ disciplines must take the lead to enrich our repertoire in how we think about ourselves and others today through a review of book by Dr Mohammed Abouelleil Rashed.
05/2020: Germany and France have enlisted the help of humanities scholars, but we’ll need atypical thinkers and agile makers for artful ways forward.
03/2020: Struggling with social distancing and self-isolation? Here, put on my Catsuit. Meow.
My work has been widely covered by mainstream printed media in UK, Tokyo, Singapore since 1992. Here are a few recent examples.
The Physical and Poetic Processes of Running was a 100,000 word thesis completed at Slade School of Fine Art (2009-2013). I was a University College London scholar. Since its upload in Summer 2014, the thesis has been downloaded 4363 times worldwide.
Article in The Conversation 2018 (10.6m subscribers) which was read 2000 times in the first 2 days. Using #MagicCarpet as an example, it introduced the notion of being ‘ill-disciplined’ (Tan & Asherson 2018).
This was an exhibition of eight works published in the Winter 2016 edition of Transfers Interdisciplinary Journal of Mobility Studies.
2020 version of Exceptional Talent, the State of Fun & Islands of After Death, on movement as a human right, which was first performed as a keynote-lecture at Peter Scott at the Inaugural Art & Mobilities Symposium 2018.
Productive antagonisms is an interdisciplinary mode of knowledge exchange and production (Latham and Tan 2016). Itself an artful juxtaposition of concepts and practices and co-created by an artist and a geographer, I have since extended the concept into a mode of learning and teaching, although it has come from prior framings such as ISLANDHOPPING (2002-2005).
This was a commissioned keynote lecture and masterclass for an EU-funded consortium of scientists CoCA at their Annual Meeting, University Hospital Frankfurt, Germany.
The body and mind in motion and commotion as a form of intervention and interrogation of and amid a world in motion and commotion. A non-linear slideshow performed at ANTI Festival of Contemporary Performance (Kuopio, Finland 2015) and Exparte at the Brick Lane Gallery (for the Singapore Tourism Board, 2015).
Running (In) your City is a book chapter in Mobilities, Literature, Culture (Palgrave Macmillan 2019) and performance-lecture (ESRC-funded ‘Running Dialogues’, Roxy Bar & Screen in London 2015).
Is there too much, or not enough ‘neurodiversity’ in art & academia in the UK? Premiered at Birkbeck, Arts Week May 2019.
Unreasonable Adjustments outlines the compromises I have to make to fit the neuronormative world. It premiered at Southbank Centre. Tour: 5th International European Network for Hyperkinetic Disorders Conference, Edinburgh and 4th National Conference SOS Dyslexia, San Marino.
Disability Arts Online 2018 article. One of its top 10 editorial pieces, later presented as a performance-lecture at the Science Museum.
Do you take risks? Why? Why not? What’s the greatest risks you have taken? Step forward, tell us. Go on – what’s the worst that can happen?