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Sikay Tang [Hong Kong: 1963]


Sikay Tang was born in Hong Kong and grew up in New York. She now lives in New York and Antwerp and is a typical migrant. In her photographs and video-works she mixes her own background and traditions. The movements of film and video fascinates her. 'Searching for Alison' (1995) is a video in which the artist refers to her Chinese mother and to herself in a western ideal image of the fourties. As an apotheosis Sikay Tang puts on a blond 'Marilyn Monroe' wig. The audience is seduced into a world of illusions.

Sikay Tang is grasped by the structure of soaps, the stories without ends, characters that never seem to find one another, for years playing the same story from different angles. The simple sets, the repeated scenes, all these aspects give the audience enough space to have their own fantasies and to identify with their favourite soap-star.

The important characteristics of soaps according to Sikay Tang are the illusion of eternity, the ongoing story without an end, and different stories in one bigger context, playing at the same time. The audience is watching other peoples problems, other peoples happiness, sorrow, friends, houses etc. All this is the basis for 'HouseholdDirt' (1997), an installation of 6 televisionscreens in a circle. Tang used 24 hour videotapes of several interiors, all with one camera. Sometimes the different rooms are empty, sometimes someone comes in, makes a telephone-call, talks to another person and leaves the space again. Trivial moments in trivial lives of unknown persons. Mixed with soap-scenes, filmed and edited by Sikay Tang and parts of commercials, real life and soap-fantasy become one.

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