About this exhibition

Ho Tzu Nyen uses historical texts and artifacts to create unique films, video pieces, installations and theatre works that have been shown worldwide from Guggenheim, New York to the Venice Biennale. His long-term project, The Critical Dictionary of Southeast Asia (CDOSEA) focuses on Southeast Asia’s colonial histories and national identities. In an attempt to overcome national borders and articulate the possibility of another collective identity for the region, he collects metaphors, sounds, biographies and narratives left out of the official history books. As a result, an extensive archive of thousands of hours of audiovisual material has emerged which Ho presents online as a virtual, critical dictionary. CDOSEA proposes 26 terms — one for each letter of the Latin alphabet. Each term is a concept, a motif, or a biography, and together they question, problematise, and address the complexity in defining Southeast Asia.

In this exhibition, Ho includes CDOSEA and two further works from the CDOSEA encyclopedic series: The Nameless (2014) and The Name (2015).


Image: Ho Tzu Nyen, The Critical Dictionary of South-East Asia: The Nameless film still (2014). Image courtesy of the artist.