Culture Schools Projects


Kai Syng Tan

Kai Syng Tan
Dr Kai Syng Tan FRSA SFHEA is an interdisciplinary artist-researcher, shapeshifter and sightseer. Through installation, performance, drawing, critical text and curatorial practice, her practice-led research investigates the body and mind in motion (and commotion) as a motif/method/metaphor to articulate/reimagine/impact the world that is in motion (and commotion) around us. She activates everyday mobilities such as running (since 2009), mind wandering (current), swimming / islandhopping / crawling / hula-hooping / drowning as critical/creative modes of interrogation/intervention.

Kai’s works are (in)formed by the collaging/collision of a range of philosophies and practices from disparate disciplines/genres/cultures, and characterised by layering, wordplay, a day-glo palette and an unapologetically un-objective/un-heroic/un-macho/non-neurotypical perspective (given her ADHD, dyspraxia and dyslexia).

Known for her ‘eclectic style and cheeky attitude’ (Sydney Morning Herald), ‘radical interdisciplinarity’ (Dr Alan Latham, UCL), she has been described as ‘not only a talented artist but also a great scholar’ (Cinema South Festival) with a ‘sardonic humour but also a sharp intelligence which makes her a self-reflexive, incisive artist of South East Asia’ (Singapore International Festival of Arts Director Keng Sen Ong). 

Kai is currently Artist in Residence and Visiting Researcher at SGDP, working on an Unlimited/Arts Council England main commission. She is also Fellow at Centre for Mobilities Research, Lancaster University, Visiting Fellow at UCL Institute of Advanced Studies, Director of RUN! RUN! RUN! International Body for Research and RUN! RUN! RUN! Biennale, and Arts and Humanities Research Council Peer Review College member.