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Jennifer Tee: Still Shifting, Mother Field

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The exhibition Still Shifting, Mother Field, by artist Jennifer Tee includes newly commissioned ceramic sculptures, textile installations, performances, and collages. Tee was born in Arnhem, the Netherlands in 1973. She lives and works in Amsterdam.

In Jennifer Tee’s work her interest in the in-between state of what she calls “the soul in limbo” is of central importance. The soul in limbo is restlss and alive and caught in an unnamed place–a conceptual, mental, psychological, and physical space–on the border between the present and the possible. Tee also researches contemporary life, with its cross-cultural identity and narratives, its instability and complexity, and its potential for the loss of identity, language, and kinship with original cultures. In addition, Tee explores various forms of ideological concepts of life and their potential for creating a new and more beautiful and soulful world. With her work, she encourages the contemplation of life’s fragile connections, evoking spiritual realms with active material experimentation.

A central element of Jennifer Tee’s exhibition at Kunstinstituut Melly is her Tampan Tulip series. It’s a series of collages made from pressed tulip petals, with motifs taken from Tampan weavings. These textiles can be found in the Lampung region of southern Sumatra, a part of a crucial trade route for hundreds of years. The area has long been a crossroads of cultures and artistic traditions. The square-shaped woven Tampans were exchanged during important rites of passage. The motifs often include a ship with human souls, animals, and plant-like forms in motion to the afterlife: references that explore diasporic narratives, migration, and the tree of life in relation to genealogy and ancestry.

Commissioned and produced by Kunstinstituut Melly, Rotterdam and Vienna Secession, Vienna. The exhibition is on view in Vienna from 16 September to 6 November 2022, and in Rotterdam from 20 January to 23 April 2023.

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