Jennifer Tee’s works comprise sculpture, installation, performance, photography, and collages, all with a wide-ranging underlying frame of reference. Of central importance is her interest in the in-between state of what she calls “the soul in limbo”. The soul in limbo is restless and alive, and caught in an unnamed place–a conceptual, mental, psychological, and physical space–on the border between the here 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 utopian 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 the Secession will be 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 crossroad 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 which explore diasporic narratives, migration and the tree of life in relation to genealogy and ancestry.
Programmed by the board of the Secession
Curated by Annette Südbeck