The banner shows examples of museums, galleries, companies, universities and more, in Tokyo, Sydney, UK, Singapore and elsewhere that I have worked with. The following are some of their feedback.

ON A 2021 PROPOSED PROJECT TO THEORISE ‘NEURODIVERGENT LEADERSHIP’

  • The proposal is ‘highly ambitious’, ‘amongst the most interesting I have ever been asked to review’, displaying a ‘deep commitment from the applicant to develop her own leadership of the emerging field of Neurodivergent Leadership’.
  • It is a ‘timely and hugely important project, demonstrating a very high degree of originality’ and will be a ‘timely focus for investment’ and ‘send a strong signal about this agenda being important to [the research council], and to this area of the creative sector too’.
  • The programme is a ‘brilliant and fascinating blend of activities’ pioneering ‘ground clearing’ work’, given ‘the real lack of work in this area’ and ‘real dearth of academic engagement on issues of neurodivergence in the creative sector (whether at universities or creative industries)’.
  • As a ‘new area to embrace a vast array of diverse politics, practices and crises including anti-colonialism, queer and anti-racist responses that have come to the fore especially during the pandemic’, ‘attention to these intersections provides a rich context but also means the frame itself is profoundly elastic and all-encompassing’.
  • The project will create ‘opportunities for policy and creative practice organisations to reflect on their, and their organisations’ practices’; inventing a ‘multi-faceted definition of leadership (in disciplinary and interdisciplinary terms, and within a framework of EDI’ that is ‘well placed to play a role in developing a fast emerging area of research on neurodiversity and its relationship to leadership and creativity’, ‘embracing different ways of conceiving of leadership in a discourse that is genuinely not limited to one discipline or one creative approach, promising to ‘help transform thinking for her participants’.
  • The project employs creative methods in ways that are intended to be challenging brings with it risks but the applicant demonstrates an awareness of these methods and has employed them previously in her established career within and beyond the academy’.
  • The proposed Fellow has a ‘strong track-record in arts-based engagement having worked with a range of creative partners on numerous publicly funded projects in the past’, and am already recognised as ‘one of the few who has written and provided resources on this subject; I’ve used them in my own work and in my teaching, where my research assistants and MSc students have struggled to find any detailed research engagement beyond industry reports’.

— Feedback to my proposed Fellowship to theorise ‘Neurodivergent Leadership’, by Peer Reviewers of a Research Council (anonymised, with two out of three awarding it a maximum 6), Autumn 2021

LEADERSHIP & INNOVATION 

I was particularly excited to see Ghanaian students specifically and African (Diaspora) and students generally, participating actively in the event and celebrating their ancestors and promoting “blackness”. This made me so proud to be an African at this particular era. The resources would be particularly useful for my teaching and especially for its historic contents and great Pan African thinkers. – Irene Appeaning Addo (Senior Research Fellow Institute of African Studies University of Ghana, Legon, of the Pan African Congress 75 Anniversary Celebrations, 2020

Kai has been instrumental in the UK and lots of other contexts in pulling together all sorts of writers, artists, academics and performance-makers to come together and to start to form what might become to be called ‘Running Studies’. Kai has been absolutely central in this. She introduced me to a whole lot of people.’ Artist Professor Gregg Whelan. Curator. ANTI Festival. Kuopio, Finland. 2015

This is challenging and thought provoking, and a really effective way of conveying the positively disruptive energy that engagement can release’. ‘The title was excellent, and captured the spirit of culture change: an animated group challenging established ways of framing disability, challenging the old with the new, taking risks. The clever and provocative construction extended to the caption, which captured vividly what it feels like to be caught up in the thrill of creating new knowledge which challenges and changes the world’. – Judges’ comments for winning photo montage at NCCPE 2018 Public Engagement Images award

But 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. […] Tan’s work has encouraged conversations and connections across disciplines and it is in this context of a nascent interdisciplinary discourse on running that I think the concept of gesture offers an important means of understanding what running does, and what is at stake, when bodies run as art’. Dr Andrew Filmer, journal article in Contemporary Theatre Review (Routledge) 2020  

Dr Tan’s PhD thesis was an exceptional piece of work; […]. What was most impressive about the dissertation was the ease and lucidity with which the dissertation moved between popular culture, literatures from a diverse range of academic disciplines, and the world of fine art. In my own research I have been exploring the relationship between urban environment and practices of physical fitness. Examining Dr Tan’s PhD suggested a whole range of productive new ways of thinking about these relationships; it’s a really high quality dissertation that does that. […] Collaborating with Dr Tan has been an intellectually energising experience. In all sorts of ways it has challenged me to rethink how I go about doing my research. And it has informed much of my recent work. […] Among the many impressive dimensions of the proposal is the centrality it gives to public engagement, along with its radical interdisciplinarity. Dr Tan has extensive experience configuring such interdisciplinary dialogues […] Dr Tan will produce research that is intellectually challenging, radically interdisciplinary and important.’ — UCL geographer Professor Alan Latham on my PhD thesis, 2014, which has been downloaded more than 4000 times

‘Loved it. Bold brash and radical!!  Love it. Congrats its a super radical piece of subversive TV! Love it!! Congrats on what I think it a fun, provocative and important piece!’ – Dr Atif Mohammed, Director, Producer, on film How to Thrive in 2050 (2021).

‘Your session was most definitely the star event!’; ‘excellent presentations which came straight from the heart’; Three unique and personal perspectives delivered to a large and appreciative audience’; ‘ there can be few better ways to start a health care professional conference than listening to the true experts’ – Feedback for presentation + CPD unit chaired by Dr Kobus van Rensburg that kickstarted the the blended 14th International Berlin Conference on ADHD, for 870 professionals and researchers in ADHD and mental health from Austria, Denmark, UK, Sweden, Finland, Holland, France, Iceland and more, 2021

‘Such a breath of fresh air’, ‘an eye opener’, ‘incredibly interesting perspective’, ‘Kai bubbles over with wonderful enthusiasm.’ – Feedback for keynote for Association of Dyslexia Specialists in HE 20th Anniversary Conference (2021).

‘Kai […] is very exciting to work with. She contributed to both local and national training with health care professionals and researchers. […] She has integrated extremely well into our scientific community becoming a key member of our research team, sharing and developing ideas, and making important contributions to the dissemination of science to the public.  — Professor of Psychiatry Philip Asherson. 2017.

‘The writing in these chapters is consistently focused, clever, and often quite provoking. The chapters act both as kind of context (of the why, and the how) for the video performances, and an extension or continuation of them. By this I mean they carry the playfulness, disruptiveness, and rhythm of the video performances into the main text. Overall I thought the dissertation and the various performances described within it were impressive. They all weave together a provocative mix of text, image and kinetic sense, which are both enjoyable and thought provoking’. – UCL geographer Professor Alan Latham on my PhD thesis

‘Tan Kai Syng is one of the most prolific young artists of Singapore. Well-versed in video, sound & electronic media, she has created wide ranging works bordering between discourse and personal reflection. Her works often reveal her sardonic humour but also a sharp intelligence which makes her a self reflexive, incisive artist of South East Asia now. […] Being a versatile straddler between academician & practising artist demonstrates her agility in moving between different fields of knowledge & diverse disciplines. She has a wryness which stands her in good stead […] she is a very talented interdisciplinary artist […]. She moves restlessly from one medium to another which is part of the joy of her work. She has proven herself to be immensely attractive to students who follow her classes with avid involvement, she can be an amazing source of inspiration’. – Singapore International Festival of Arts Director Keng Sen Ong, 2009.

‘[…] she’s one of Asia’s most talented and promising artists […] It is our honor to host not only a talented artist but also a great scholar. The importance of Kai for this program is tremendous […] she’s the brain behind [the South East Asian Cinema Program] and the main player in it.’ – Dr Erez Pery. Director, Cinema South International Film Festival  2008.

‘Singaporean artist Kai Syng Tan  [is] known for her eclectic style and cheeky attitude to the art world […].’ — Tracey Clement. Cover story, Sydney Herald Tribune. 2006.

‘Kai has a global / international vision in art production and education, and I am certain that her collaborators including myself have all had a valuable experience while working with her. She was always able to overcome all technical problems and provide on time a highly professional outcome.’ – Composer Professor Christophe Charles, Tokyo, Japan. 2009.

‘The room Tan Kai Syng devised for the exhibition ‘Politics of Fun’ in the House of World Cultures is overwhelming. […] She rejoices in communication, and her guises are protean. Within a brief conversation she is the humorous cynic, the attentive listener and so on and so forth. Whether she is gathering, making or showing things, she is wholly engrossed’. — Susanne Messmer. ‘The Manic Collector’. culturebase.net. Germany. 2005.

‘Tan has established herself as one of the foremost video artists in Singapore, engaging with the medium in interesting and often innovative ways’. — Dr Eugene Tan. 2007. Contemporary Art In Singapore. Eds Nadarajan G, Storer, R. & Tan, E. Institute of Contemporary Arts. Singapore. 142.

‘She has the unusual distinction of being highly creative, intellectually able and positively self disciplined. […] I believe that she will contribute to the educational needs of students in terms of practice, and equally in theory. She is also an accomplished writer and is poised to establish herself professionally as a practicing video and filmmaker. In education her pedagogic and communicative skills and devotion to the notion of scholarship will also be significant.’ – Performance artist Stuart Brisley. 1998.

‘Kai Syng Tan confronts her new social surrounding with the strategy of a research in progress that is an unusual mix of critical engagement, intellectual references and not to forget a very, very special way of engaging humour.’ — Johan Pijnappel. Biennale of Sydney (catalogue). 268-269. 2006.

‘Kai is unusually perceptive.’ – Artist. Bruce Mclean. 1994.

‘Kai is a media artist to look out for’ – Johan Pijannapel. Art It. 2005. Japan. 

‘Tan Kai Syng’s two TV screen pieces stood out easily as the exhibition’s most potent and engaging; both works a credit to the medium. […] Tan’s TV work offers spare, elegant visuals that […], bring the viewer into the piece’s hauntingly lyrical, abstracted narrative. […] [It] shows an artistic mastery uncommon in a medium where technical competence is more frequent than aesthetic intelligence.’ — Iola Lenzi. 2003. ‘President’s Young Talents’. The Arts Magazine. Singapore.

‘I’m interested in collaborating with you as I need a research partner willing to pursue an interdisciplinary study that can both complement my perspective and create links between spheres that seem disconnected with a critic, but productive point of view. I specially felt attracted to your critical standing as you made a connection between running and performance, showing a completely different train of thought to thinking of running as a neoliberal practice, and whose interest seems to be only to criticise, not providing any “way out” or positive outcome’. – Global transdisciplinary post-doctoral researcher 2022.

NEURODIVERSITY IN/AND CREATIVE RESEARCH NETWORK

  • ‘Thank goodness for you & your work Kai! You are one of the most important drivers in giving me energy to push for change’. – Dr Ranjita Dhital
  • ‘Kai is like an incandescent source of energy. An energy that drives her not just her own achievements as her lights illuminate the paths for others. The latest of her many achievements comes from the effort she has put into establishing the Neurodiversity In/And Creative Research Network (who knew how many Neurodiverse achievers were out there), allowing us to see ourselves more clearly and positively, to recognise our strengths and giving us the confidence to seek out, to demand recognition, to carve our paths to success. She threw a spotlight for me onto an artist opportunity at KCL that has led to residencies working with the scientists of KCL, Imperial and Southampton Universities, and then to be a Visiting Teaching Fellow on the KCL Msc/Mres” – Mike Barrett, artist and data scientist
  • I cannot get over how much of a relief it was to share some of my experiences and ideas during Friday’s session, and I was so so grateful for everyone’s generosity and understanding, it really meant the absolute world. I hope that we can continue some of the valuable conversations and discussions that are coming out of this summer programme, and the work of the network more widely – especially around neurodivergent methodologies and advocate for more non-normative ways of knowing. I hope once I get this thesis written (!) I will be able to turn my attention more to helping out with network related activities. For now though, just an absolute big thank you for me to you both again for all you do with the network. It was so refreshing to be able to try and mode of presentation that was so new to me in a safe and inclusive space, and I hope that it was in some way helpful to the wonderful people that joined
  • Thanks for all your work with the network and mailing list – it’s a brilliant resource.
  • I am so humbled by your kind words of appreciation and understanding.  I am also feeling happy, privileged and lucky to have you all as support and encouragement. It has been a tough journey for me to question structures, people and most often losing people whom we had put faith in the process. Look forward to the upcoming discussions. And please do reach out to me if I can offer any kind of support.
  • This group makes me so happy 
  • It seems a long time since I last wrote to you! Amazingly my dissertation was published by unlimited who commissioned me to write this blog. I am now on the new board too! You have been such an inspiration in my journey and I have even quoted you in several references. I ended up not making a film at all but Adhd leads the way sometimes and something totally different evolved.
  • I will continue to promote this utterly invaluable network.
  • Just want to quickly say that the email you sent out earlier is absolutely brilliant. Honestly, should be an example to literally anyone (but my immediate thoughts are NHS mental health teams and government in general) about how to deal with an unfortunate incident (of accidental GDPR breach by a member). 
  • Great to be part of this group xx feeling a little more seen 
  • ‘I have finally found my tribe’; ‘This group makes me so happy’; ‘utterly invaluable’; ‘lifeline’; ‘brilliant resource’. ‘I cannot get over how much of a relief it was to share some of my experiences and ideas. I was so so grateful for everyone’s generosity and understanding, it really meant the absolute world. I hope that we can continue some of the valuable conversations and discussions that are coming out of this programme, and the work of the network more widely – especially around neurodivergent methodologies and advocate for more non-normative ways of knowing. It was so refreshing to be able to try and mode of presentation that was so new to me in a safe and inclusive space’; I once said to you, you were one of the most ethical people I know, and I really believe it.’ ‘I am also feeling happy, privileged and lucky to have you all as support and encouragement. It has been a tough journey for me to question structures, people and most often losing people whom we had put faith in the process’. 

8th ASEAN PARA GAMES CEREMONIES

‘… a spectacular ceremony.’ — Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Hsien Loong. 2015.

‘Your team have been most open-minded, thoughtful and accommodating to our suggestions and inputs in making the event a truly accessible one for our community. With “live’’ captioning has been offered for such a big event and at a national level for the first time, the ASEAN Para Games Opening and Closing Ceremonies mark a giant step towards an inclusive Singaporean society.’ — Alvan Yap. Singapore Association for the Deaf. 2015. 

‘Congratulations for the picture-perfect Opening Ceremony. I believe the wonderful extraordinary experience will be engraved in the mind and heart for the rest of their lives. Thanks for giving us the opportunity to be part of this once in a life time journey and do let me affirm that your hard work and creative mind had captured the heart of the audience yesterday. You’ve created exceptional work in letting the status of our students with disabilities and let them soar to greater heights in an international platform. Kudos to your team!’ — Vice-Principal Anuwar Abdul Wahab. Metta School. 2015.

#MAGICCARPET

‘The tapestry was the most beautiful piece of work I’ve have seen in a long time.’ – King’s Artists exhibition visitor, Bush House (1500 visitors) 2018

‘The tapestry clearly illustrates Kai’s restless body and mind and taps into a long artistic tradition.  It’s a very beautiful manifestation of a hidden disability. In the context of Unlimited, this commission is breaking new ground, linking academics, scientists and artists in interesting ways and enabling an artist to immerse herself in an emerging realm of neuroscience, including clinical trials.  The work is all about process and what Kai calls ‘productive antagonisms’ – atomic collisions where people from different backgrounds meet and discuss the latest science and lived experience of ADHD and neurological disabilities’ – 509 arts 2018

‘Kai was so charismatic and engaging, the children loved her. Don’t forget us next year!’– teacher Jolanta Nowakowska. Lyndhurst Primary School 2018

‘It was great to see neurodiversity being explored in such varied and interesting ways. The short project film exploring risk-taking and neurodiversity was honest and engaging, and it was fantastic to see Kai’s #MagicCarpet tapestry in person – a unique representation of mind-wandering and neurodiversity’. – Imogen Clarke, Assistant Curator, Science Museum

‘The event was just tremendous. It was such a privilege to hear so many moving and fascinating stories – it really was a singular and special event. It was really exciting to see how the magic carpet became this generative object, quietly (though in its own way loudly) creating a space that was both safe and adventurous. You and your work really created a unique space, generous and energising, and I’m so glad I got to share it. So many mind-blowing performances!’ –Dr Sophie Jones, Wellcome ISSF Birkbeck Fellow, on Open Mic, Birkbeck Fellow, on Open Mic

‘Again, a thought provoking evening and I’ve since been mulling over how society is set up, what the rules are, why they are there and what happens if any of us, from those at the end of the spectrum or even those in the middle, decide they are not going to conform!’ – Dr Kathy Barrett, University Lead for Research Staff Development, KCL 2018

‘Thank you for an entertaining and thought-provoking performance. Your performance [at the next conference] should be a breath of fresh air to those attending – most academic presentations are usually quite awful.’ – Dr David Grant, Educational Psychologist. 2018

‘It was a pleasure to be with you in action Kai. You create a kind of “being with”. You are in our presence and we in yours. […] You were being you, in all your energy, power, wit, vulnerability, confusion and searing clarity.’ – Lois, artist working in art-science, 2018

‘Thank you Kai for a v-special event. I’m a dyslexic and dyspraxic academic and your story + that of others really resonated with me. It’s so important share experiences and hear about the diverse lives by neuro diverse people’.

‘It was so amazing to hear more, listen to people tell us their story, their truths, themselves. An education & a joy’. ‘Kai sets a very open and non-judgemental atmosphere, which allows people to speak so freely, and hence we hear very touching and informing stories from the audience’. ‘This was extremely validating for women with ADHD. Mind-wandering a word I now have and helps me’. ‘Great, diverse sharing, multi-generational’ – Anonymous. 2018

‘So good to have had intergenerational conversations. Informative + surprising’; ‘It was a mind opening experience’. ‘Beautiful experience’. ‘Very fun & engaging! Talking with strangers is nice:)’. ‘Helped me talk to others, I am normally an introvert who watches.’ ‘What you did do was create a safe + wonderful way to be open to each other.’ – Participants of South London Gallery event 2018 ‘The highlights of the day were the opportunity to question rather than define, and the honesty and openness’; ‘The performative lecture was so packed with info & ideas, & Kai set this up really well’; ‘The interactive workshop- discussions etc. & sharing ideas with each other- provocative statements’; ‘Style of morning presentation- big words, colours, concepts. How the whole day was about thinking & understanding’; ‘The level of discussion; the relaxed nature of delivery’; ‘I enjoyed the whole day, I can’t fault it’; ‘Would have liked more!’; ‘I’m feeling so inspired & reassured, thank you’; ‘A great day, good balance of presentation and workshop. Extremely relevant and informative’; ‘It was incredibly useful to think of ways in which we are all neurodiverse + diverse and how this should be considered to make improvements/inclusions in everyday life- v. good to hear an artist’s perspective’; ‘Excellent material both for reflection and practical use when interacting with students’. – Participants of neurodiversity masterclass, Plymouth College of Art, UK, 2019. 100% agreed or strongly agreed that the activity has ‘improved my understanding of “neurodiversity” in HE, and that they will ’apply what I’ve learnt in my communication and interactions with students & colleagues’.

‘So much is going on there in terms of gender politics, mental health (‘including the mental health in academia crisis’ ™(c)), history’ – Sasha 2019.  

‘It should be in Tate or something, so amazing. Couldn’t believe the size and the detail of the work’. – Gunes Tavmos 2019

‘I found it wonderful being there and feeling immediately connected with everyone. Neurodiverse experiences run deep’. – Academic 2019

‘Many thanks for the lovely and fascinating tapesty – it was a beautiful visitor. Because my office happens to be close by I was able to visit a few times and it was great to be guided through it. I was guided through a different area each time and I shall miss my visits. It is gorgeous’. – Sue Wiseman 2019 

‘A ridiculously brilliant tapestry by Kai Syng Tan is on display at @birkbeck_arts #BBKArtsWeek #mentalhealth #adhd #geniusalert’. – Dr Sasha Dovzhyk 2019

‘The very beautiful #MagicCarpet part of an engaging + thought provoking evening discussing neurodiversity + art – Tina Hodgkinson 2019

‘Absolutely gorgeous to gaze at and feel #magiccarpet maximalist tapestry by @kaisyngtan  – Pauline Suwanban 2019

‘I had an amazing time at the #MagicCarpet event at The Arts Guild. It was wonderful to meet so many like minded people. I came away with the over riding thought (and one that had been brewing for a while) that the Art World, the business of it, the ‘professional approach’ of artist statements, funding applications, articles etc etc etc is all geared towards a neuro-normative brain. … But I am determined to try, even if I never quite get there. The system as it stands creates huge barriers for so many neurodiverse artists to achieve. I wonder if we can start a movement to challenge this? I have so much to say about my own practice regarding this that I couldn’t condense verbally at the event – I AM finding ways around things and ways to manage my way of working. What I need to do is work on the communication of it – not to apologise to the establishment but a FIRM and CONFIDENT “this is what I do”’. – Participant, 2018 ‘The tapestry is dense, visually and thoughtfully. It’s a voyage through Kai’s mind. […] The text runs throughout in seemingly infinite amounts, appearing at first legible, then running off into a black murky void. Everything about the tapestry screams at you, and it is beautiful for that reason. There’s so much going on that you really want to touch it, explore every nook and cranny, uncover its secrets through returning to it again and again’. – James Zakta-Hass, Disability Arts Online 2019

‘I wanted to congratulate you and thank you for an amazing event yesterday. Your event was so innovative and really brought art and science together, two disciplines that are so far-fetched from each other. I learned more about the mind, ADHD and how important art is in navigating various outlets and that was more valuable to me in terms of what I would have learned in a classroom setting. The connection between art and science is so essential, and you were able to impact and educate individuals so effectively and bring awareness at the same time. Your event was exceptional as it encouraged everyone to step outside of their comfort zone and try to understand their own inhibitions in terms of ADHD and of other people as well. […] I hope that you continue to get funding and make your vision even better and more accessible to all. Due to my ADHD, I have always struggled making friends or having access to specialists and your event was able to break both barriers and provide a ‘family’ as well as imparting useful skills in return. Art in that case served as a process to educate me and to connect me with people that are just like me, something that I am extremely grateful to you. – Shushank Chibber, in The Psychologist 2018, of the speed-dating event at South London Gallery.    

‘Meeting people the same as me – I am not alone!!! :)’, ‘‘Engagement with audience’, ‘debate’, ‘being introduced to different concepts and different ways of seeing things’, ‘The conversation was great’, ‘The artists to speak to, the speakers and the debate’, ‘Atmosphere’, ‘Diversity of definitions’, ‘Speakers’ ‘Contents’, ‘Discussing art practice + ADHD + a neuro-normative art market world’, ‘Discussing education – barriers faced by people with ADHD’, ‘Science-neuro-diverse-art’. Other comments were: ‘Loved it loved it loved it. Felt at home (underlined twice). So Happy! :)’ – Participants of Art Workers’ Guild launch event 2018

‘The event was useful to my research/professional development and/or interest’ and ‘This event has challenged my understanding of how artists and scientists work together, and/or my own body and mind and that of others that are different to mine’. – 100% of the feedback agreed or strongly agreed to questions, 2018

‘Thank you for bringing us all together’, ‘I have gained a better understanding of what the possibilities are and the constraints that our society constructs place on us’, ‘A really engaging and interesting and thought provoking evening!’, ‘Well done!’, ‘I thought this was a very interesting evening and a very interesting discussion on both embracing and the definition of neurodiversity to different people’, ‘You are great!’, ‘I enjoyed everything’, ‘Keep doing more events. Thank you.’ Further feedback for event, 2018

‘The mat is amazing! You have reflected my thought patterns.’ – Artist Jacki Cairns, 2018

‘I really enjoyed it. Great to get immersed in the discussions about art, mind wandering, neurodiversity, accessibility and the rest, and what a fantastic panel. The place was buzzing.’ – Dr Sarah Holme, editor of ADDISS newsletter, 2018

‘Thanks so much for hosting such a positive, intriguing and productive event […]. I think you achieved something very usual – a genuinely diverse and progressive format for people to express their thoughts. Great work. I also really enjoyed your slightly meandering approach to mediation! Somehow both provocative and reassuring at once. – Ben Platts Mills, Director, Headway East London, 2018 

‘I still think about your Art Workers Guild event as I learnt so much from it’ – Dr Kathy Barett, King’s College London University Lead for Research Staff Development four months after event, 2018

‘Thanks […] for being able to gather so many different people and create such a proactive, engaging and safe environment for people from all disciplines to be part of the conversation (yesterday I spoke with NHS people, academics, poets, theatre-makers, students….).’ – Arts Production Manager Alessandra Cianetti, 2018

‘The project is a very exciting and innovative integration of art and science and functions as a wonderful platform for the clinical and scientific community to develop an interesting dialogue with Kai, and to find new, exciting and innovative ways to communicate the science of ADHD through her art.’ – Philip Asherson. Professor of Psychiatry, KCL. 2017.

‘Fantastic to be involved #MagicCarpet @wesatonamat discussing mind wandering & ADHD.  Professor Helen Chatterjee MBE. 2017.

‘Your work is really making a difference’ – Professor Developmental Disorders & Neuropsychiatry Jonna Kuntsi, Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre, King’s College London.

‘I have been enjoying all the images of brains and mind-wandering in the SGDP Atrium – they brighten up my date after a miserable commute.’ – Professor of Genetic Epidemiology Cathryn Lewis

‘You take our product to a real professional level’ – Flanders Tapestry, which also weaved the work of artists Laura Provoust and Grayson Perry.

‘Rich, layered, detailed, worked, overworked and a perfect example of #creativecase where #ADHD is no barrier but instead a creative impetus. – Jo Verrent, Senior Producer, Unlimited. 2018.

‘Incredible work here from @kaisyngtan as her @weareunltd tapestry commission @wesatonamat #MagicCarpet is literally woven into being. Fascinating piece & process with layer upon layer of image and meaning #mindwandering – Unlimited. 2018.

‘Excellent’ – Roundabout, dramatherapy charity 2018.  

‘Great exploration of ADHD as a way of knowing & being’ – Assistant Professor Dr Jess Hughes, Reading Area Community College, USA. 2018. 

‘Great chats with arts assassins. So good to have had intergenerational conversations. Informative + surprising’. ‘It was a mind opening experience’. ‘Beautiful experience’. ‘Very fun & engaging! Talking with strangers is nice:)’. ‘Helped me talk to others, I am normally an introvert who watches.’ ‘What you did do was create a safe + wonderful way to be open to each other.’ – On ‘speed dating’ style event at South London Gallery

‘Your carpet is magic’. – Dr Jolanta Zanelli, Divisional Manager Academic Psychiatry and Business Manager Psychosis Studies, KCL

‘Thank you for your speech – super moving and motivational and inspiring! […] I think it’s super powerful, and I believe it applies to others who are neurotypical but don’t really fit in the box as well’ – Attendee of a talk on neurodiversity 2019

‘Thank you so much for organising the workshop, it was so stimulating and refreshing! Took all the stress away for the time we were involved in art to be honest!’ – geneticist of Art-Science Creative Collisions 2019 

‘It was great to be part of your very special event. I enjoyed the evening immensely. I love what you’re doing and find it very inspiring. There doesn’t appear to be a lot of understanding or appreciation about neurodiversity in academia. I find this frustrating and has often made me question if to continue with it or not.’ – Academic, 2018

‘So thought provoking, open and moving. It’s really been a pleasure to have been part of supporting your project’ – Director, Cultural Programming, Alison Duthie

‘Had a wicked, random evening with #MagicCarpet @wesatonamat. Kai is super freaking awesome! Kai Forever! […] I keep my @wesatonamat ‘Kai’ badge here now, so Kai is with me wherever I go in this crazy world’ – Author with ADHD. 2018 

RUN! RUN! RUN! BIENNALE, RUNNING STUDIES

‘Kai Syng Tan closes this section with an exciting chapter on the activist potential of “art-ful” running across the consumerist city’. — Anna P.H. Geurts, 2022. ‘Book Review: Mobilities, Literature, Culture’, The Journal of Transport History.

‘Very much appreciate what you are doing for raising running to an artistic and literary level’. – Holland’s leading author Abdelkader Benali 2018

‘Perhaps other conferences could take a leaf out of #r3fest’s book.’ Dr Alex Lockwood. Guardian 2014.

‘A revelation’. Megan Garrett-Jones, Real Time Arts Magazine, Australia, 2015

‘I think you got the tone, timing, and mix of speakers/activities/displays just right. After going to this kind of event I’ll find it even more difficult to summon up the enthusiasm for a more conventional academic conference. And 8-minute slots are the way to go.’ —Professor of Human Geography Dr Derek McCormack. Oxford University. 2014

‘I think it worked really well – especially considering how diverse the crowd was. Well done! It was good fun and quite inspiring! Danny was very happy he came […], and was intrigued by how deep and interesting the discussions after the films were.’ —Ben Graham, Director of Headway East London, a charity for people affected by brain injury, 2016

‘I loved the workshop – I don’t get enough opportunities to meet people from such a wide variety of professions (or obsessions!) who share a passion for running in one form or another.’– Professor Anson MacKay, UCL ex-Vice Dean for Social Science, 2014. 

‘It was a very inspiring and stimulating afternoon.’ – Sarah Brown, Principal Keeper, Leeds Art Gallery, Chair of Leeds Leg. 2016.

‘It was a very good session, informative, interesting and well organised.’ – Dr Doug Sandle BA. PhD. CPsychol. AFBPsS. Chair, Fields of Vision. 2016.

‘I have not stopped thinking about “method and metaphor” in art practice […]. The time with you continues to influence me in a good way.’ – Lois Bentley, volunteer, Leeds Arts University. 2016.

‘Caught a lot of very interesting perspectives.’ – Julien Carrel, Director, L’Entorse festival, Lille, France, that explores the sport-art entanglement. 2016.

‘I think you have an energy and approach which is a bit more exciting than many academics and therefore more accessible. And fun.’ — Hackney Tours 2016.

‘Possibly the best conference ever.’ — Dr Sarah Petts. 2014.

‘I loved the atmosphere and feel of the Festival […] You leave me and my Camden colleagues with lots of ideas for the future.’ — Peter Twist, City of London Guide, Trainer. 2014.

‘I really enjoyed it. I’ve come away very inspired.’ – Devashishu Torpy. Sri Chimnoy Centre. 2014.

‘The ANTI festival project was very interesting and we have nice memories about it.’ – Maria Ikonen, parent of participant. Finland. 2015.

‘And what such interesting work! Very critical and at the same time playful (not an easy task when problematizing such difficult issues).’ — Dr Fernanda Duarte. Review Editor. Transfers Interdisciplinary Journal of Mobility Studies. USA. 2016.  

‘[…] the arts and writing also dominated the discussion [at Running Dialogues], with artist Kai Syng Tan presenting a Prezi like no other.’ — Katy Kennedy. Surrey University. 2015.

‘Appreciate this brilliant project which already inspired my own practice-led research […]’. – Zejun Yao PhD candidate, School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies, University of Leeds 2018.

‘Heartfelt thanks to Kai Syng for creating powerful scenarios such as the #r3fest to explore running as a critical and creative tool and for making us feel radical hope.’ – Psychotherapist Dr Elisa Hererra Altamirano, 2018.

COMMUNICATIONS

‘Your interview was one of the most impressive – and most brave – I’ve ever encountered’. – Panel member of an interview.

‘As expected, Kai brought imagination and flair to the project. However she also worked to a demanding deadline, and responded well to suggestions and feedback. Kai was a good communicator, and she was proactive about sending updates and following up the project. Kai was imaginative and professional and I would recommend her to anyone looking for creative video work within a short time frame.’ — Digital Curator Ellie Miles. Museum of London, 2013.

‘You are one of the most positive and energetic people I know!! Really inspiring to work with you!!’ — Elisa Itkonen. Curator. ANTI-Festival. Finland. 2015. 

‘Kai was brilliant to work with from the start and delivered a high quality presentation that was packed with artefacts, video, and texts that could be further articulated and unpacked later through analysis and reflection in the workshop. Kai was always open and responsive to ideas and feedback with myself and the group. The workshop was thoughtfully written and led with warmth and humour. She has a discursive style and is intuitive which is crucial given the diversity of staff and the complexity of the issues at our institution. This generosity led to imaginative outcomes from participants. Kai was wonderful to work with and I hope to continue our conversations in the future. –Sally Hall, Plymouth College of Art

‘You’re a gem and you inspire me profoundly! Thanks for your energy!’ – Dr Elisa Herrera Altamirano (Mexico/Spain)

‘Thank goodness for you & your work Kai! You are one of the most important drivers in giving me energy to push for change’. – Dr Ranjita Dhital

‘She was very friendly and informative and we very much enjoyed this insight into Bloomsbury life’. — Chris Crowley. 2012. On my guided tour, Bloomsbury Festival. UK.

‘You should do a TED talk!’ – Chris Baker, Four Communications, 2018

TEACHING

‘I really enjoyed reading/watching, and many of the provocations you make here really resonated with me – I really like the idea of tentacular pedagogy – co-incidentally I have been listening to some podcast of octopuses recently, and how they make us thinking about thinking differently, and those podcasts and your approach have inspired me to dig a little bit deeper into that conceptual model of pedagogy, which I had not really thought about before, so many thanks for sharing that. Please do stay in touch as your work develops, I would really like to read and find out more.’ – Professor Helen Laville, Provost, Kingston University 2021  

‘I have really enjoyed getting to know you and see a dedicated educator, artist and researcher/experimenter who is on a quest for truth and stands up for what matters to you and what will move us all forward collectively so that we can who we are, flourish as individuals, in communities and society! You and your work matter!!!’ — National Teaching Fellow Dr Chrissi Nerantzi 2022

‘You’ve taught me how to think’. —Michael Larsson. Collaborator. Former student. Sweden 2015.

‘You really got our teachers thinking differently’. —Dr Rini Paul, Teacher Development Lead, King’s Undergraduate Medical Education in the Community, 2018

‘Thank you for being the best tutor, especially when the support was much needed. I always felt listened to and always left a tutorial inspired due to your words’. –Transgender Fine Art student 2021

‘The external assessor has demonstrated an exemplary thoroughness with admirable professionalism.  […] We should use her more often where possible. – Singapore Institute of Management University Assistant Provost Associate Professor Cheah Horn Mun. 2016. Singapore. 

‘Your paper is overflowing with so many complex and fascinating ideas but is also underpinned by a strong pedagogic structure. […] I was very impressed at how you link your artistic and pedagogic practice’. – Professor Patsy Cullen, Principal Fellow, Higher Education Academy, on my Senior Fellowship paper.

‘She instigated and implemented major changes for the for the academic and artistic direction of the Video Art Pathway, resulting in a new and improved course design that matches international quality standards for Video Art at tertiary education level. Tan Kai Syng established herself as an excellent leader for the Video Art Pathway and respected team worker’. — Dean Wolfgang Muench. Faculty of Media Arts, LASALLE College of the Arts. 2009. Singapore.

‘Our meetings have given me continued higher level of learning that can improve my personal development as an artist. This formalisation of learning is important to me, as it provides discipline, focus and a framework in which to grow. You have helped guide and encourage me. Your strong work ethic is an inspiration. I have enjoyed the discussions and critical feedback and how you make me feel equal as a fellow professional. I am learning a lot, and without doubt the ROAM! ROAM! ROAM! meetings have been useful, without them I wouldn’t have been able to consolidate our ideas. Access to your office is very useful as it encourages a continuity of thought. It is a kind of refuge, a safe haven. I like knowing it’s there, somewhere to reflect and debate with likeminded people. […] This is the beginning, it will be interesting to see where it takes us’. – Leeds Arts University Staff, then 57, who was a mature student, 2016.

‘Without you I would not have been the person I am today’ — Vassili Sibirius from Sweden. 2011.

‘I’ve met only one Singaporean when I was there, it was she who always listen student’s voice and very eager to give everything whatever she knew. I was very lucky for meeting with such a kind […] teacher’. — Ex-student Nyi Lyn Seck from Myanmar. 2005, now Founder & Managing Director of 3XVIVR, the first VR company in Myanmar.