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Rubens Prize of the City of Siegen

Sung Tieu

Without Full Disclosure

Sung Tieu (*1987 in Hai Duong, Vietnam, lives and works in Berlin) will receive the 9th Rubens Prize Promotional Award of the City of Siegen on 30th June 2024. The prize-giving will take place during the exhibition opening at the Museum für Gegenwartskunst Siegen.

Sung Tieu creates minimalist environments, working with various media such as installation, sculpture, video, photography, drawing, text and sound. Documents, found objects and memorabilia, even down to the interiors of public offices play a key role. Her works are based on extensive research and are often conceived in relation to the exhibition venue’s immediate surroundings and in collaboration with several contributors. Her installations often combine documentary and fictional elements, being characterised by a simple formal language enabling the objects themselves to speak.

Sung Tieu has earned a reputation for works that reflect her own migration experience after the fall of the wall. Born in Vietnam, the artist followed her father, who was working as a contract labourer in the GDR, to a reunified Germany at the age of five. Against this background, her art deals with questions of social responsibility and the impact of bureaucratic power structures and social control. She also examines the global implications of colonialism and the Cold War. The artist concerns herself with the ideological, economic and socio-political structures that determine our coexistence and are manifest in standardisation, measurability and quantifiability. She is interested in the information concealed behind seemingly transparent processes, open data, political news, and everyday objects. The focus is on critical infrastructures determining who and what will become visible.

The exhibition “Without Full Disclosure” across eleven rooms at the Museum für Gegenwartskunst Siegen brings together over 50 works from the last six years, some of which are being shown in Germany for the first time. It provides an overview of artistic strategies and themes such as the influence of French colonisation on cultural standards in Vietnam and beyond, the use of psychological and acoustic weapons in military operations, and the development of energy infrastructures. The Siegen exhibition will also focus on new works that expand on her current study of the risks inherent in hydraulic fracturing (fracking) in the USA to include German research into shale gas extraction and potential sites for this already identified in North Rhine-Westphalia.

The 9th Rubens Prize Promotional Award of the City of Siegen also includes prize money of € 5,000 and a publication. The eponymous publication “Sung Tieu. Without Full Disclosure” will be published by Distanz Verlag; an over 1000-page artist’s book, it includes an introductory text and an interview with the artist. The book can be purchased in the museum shop.

Since 2015, Sung Tieu’s work has been shown in solo and group exhibitions worldwide. Most recently, the artist has enjoyed solo exhibitions at Kunsthalle Nürnberg, Monash University Museum of Art (MUMA), Melbourne; Oakville Galleries, CA (all 2024); Kunst Museum Winterthur, CH; MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, US; Amant, New York, US; Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (n. b.k.) (all 2023); CAPC - Musée d’Art Contemporain de Bordeaux, Bordeaux; Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (n.b.k.); Mudam, Luxembourg (all 2022); Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst, Leipzig (2021); Nottingham Contemporary, UK, and Haus der Kunst, Munich (2020). Her works have been shown at 34th Biennale de São Paulo (2021) and 14th Shanghai Biennale, China (2023). In 2024, the artist will take part in the 15th Gwangju Biennale. Tieu is the winner of the Frieze Artist Award 2021, the ars viva Prize 2021, and the Audience Award of the Nationalgalerie Berlin Prize 2021; this year, in 2024, she also received the Schering Foundation Prize for Artistic Research. She lives and works in Berlin.

Curator: Thomas Thiel
Assistant Curator: Jessica Schiefer

The Rubens Prize Promotional Award of the City of Siegen

Alternating with the Rubens Prize, which is awarded for a lifetime’s achievement in painting and graphic art, the University City of Siegen, in cooperation with the Museum für Gegenwartskunst Siegen, awards the Rubens Prize Promotional Award to outstanding young artists every five years. Sung Tieu is the 9th winner, following Lena Henke (2019), Vajiko Chachkhiani (2014), Diango Hernández (2009), Peter Piller (2004), Silke Rehberg (1999), Karin Sander (1994), Julia Lohmann (1989) and Max Neumann (1984

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