CALL ME ‘KAI’: I am a UK-based artist, curator, consultant, academic, hyperactive running-messenger, atypical Octopussy and Exceptionally Talented (certified by Priti Patel/Theresa May) Mind-Full BusyBody. I seek to catalyse conversations and actions for a more equitable and creative future, and do so through mobilising artistic and artful processes to trespass disciplinary/cultural/geopolitical borders. See my academic profile here, my CV here, what people have said about me here, which on earth my name/surname is here, and my access rider here,
MOVER & SHAKER (of pinches of salt): Turbocharged by an insatiable curiosity, risk-taking sensibility, a refusal to stay still, and a day-glo palette, my work is distinct for its ‘positive atmosphere’ (Guardian 2014), ’radical interdisciplinarity’ (UCL geographer Professor Alan Latham 2017), ‘eclectic style and cheeky attitude‘ (Sydney Morning Herald 2006), which is also ‘positively disruptive’ (National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement Images Award for Culture Change, 2018).
TACTICS: I use artistic/creative practices and research, interdisciplinary and intercultural dialogues and collaborations as processes of interrogation and expression, to energise, disrupt, connect, and catalyse new conversations towards change. I mobilise the body and mind in motion as modes of creative intervention to trouble and trespass borders/silos/‘norms’ (geopolitical, disciplinary, cultural) amid a world in motion/commotion. Scampering within/between/across crevices and boundaries, I engineer spaces of ‘productive antagonisms’ (Latham and Tan 2016) in a distinctive ‘ill-disciplined’ (Tan & Asherson 2018) approach, gathering diverse and divergent bodies and bodies of knowledge to generate new insights to issues/tasks. There are multiple, overlapping strands, including around: leadership, running, mind wandering and neurodiversity, (im)mobilities and borders, disability, health, gender and technology.
SHOWS include Biennale of Sydney and Tokyo Designers’ Week, at Southbank Centre, MOMA (New York), Royal Geographical Society, Moscow’s Dom Muzyiki, BBC Radio3 & Fuji TV. Recognition includes National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement Images Award (Culture Change) and San Francisco International Film Festival Golden Gate Award. Collections include Museum of London and Fukuoka Art Museum. I am described as ‘absolutely instrumental’ (Gregg Whelan 2015) in opening up what could be called ‘Running Studies’, and the person ‘who has done the most in seeking to develop an interdisciplinary discourse around running art and performance’ (Filmer 2020). This draws on my PhD research which was conducted at Slade School of Fine Art as a UCL scholar. My art-psychiatry commission, #MagicCarpet, explores mind wandering and neurodiversity and has been enjoyed by 10,000 people offline. Co-created with disabled colleagues, the £4m Opening and Closing Ceremonies of 8th ASEAN Para Games (I was Visual and Communications Director) was applauded as ‘spectacular’ by Singapore Prime Minister and game-changing and ‘most inclusive’ by the Singapore Association of the Deaf. I was Co-Curator with Professor of Architecture Ola Uduku of the Pan African Congress 75th Anniversary Celebrations PAC@75 with 11 creative, academic and community partner institutions, where student leaders took on leading Black thinkers Afua Hirsch, Lemn Sissay MBE, Gary Younge, David Olusoga and Princeton University’s historian Kwame Anthony Appiah. PAC@75’s media coverage reached 18.2m worldwide, including via a BBC Radio 4 programme, while its bespoke Youtube channel welcomed 2000 views in 3 weeks, with positive feedback from stakeholders in S Africa and Ghana. We now co-lead a 55-member action group to activate Black History Month 2021
CURRENTLY I am Senior Lecturer, Programme Leader and EDI Co-Lead at Manchester School of Art. Until 2020, I was King’s College London Visiting Research Fellow and King’s Artist. I am also UK Research and Innovation and Arts and Humanities Research Council Peer Review College Member, Hear Me Out (empowering detained migrants through the arts) and Fermynwoods Contemporary Art trustee, founder + chair of RUN! RUN! RUN!, Manager of Running Cultures Research Group (90-members), co-founder and co-lead of Neurodiversity In/And Creative Research Network (120 members within first month), UK Adult ADHD Network (for professionals and researchers in mental health), Creative and Cultural Consultant, Philbeat (creative company in Singapore) consultant, and British Journal of Psychiatry Editorial Board member.
Caption: Picturing Happiness? Live performance at Centre for Contemporary Art with artists Philip Tan, Airik Ng and Patrick Poh, and Professor of Brain and Computer Interfaces Guan Cuntai and PhD Researcher Mane Ravikiran Tanaji from the School of Computer Science and Engineering, Nanyang Technological University. Photograph by Philip Tan. Singapore 2019.