Imaginative sculptures, paintings and drawings by Brendan Lee Satish Tang

The Vancouver-based multidisciplinary artist is known for incorporating a variety of mediums and cultural influences to create imaginative sculptures, paintings and drawings. Born in Dublin, Ireland to Trinidadian parents of mixed-Asian descent and relocating to Canada as a young teen, Tang has devoted much of his artistic career to the exploration of modern Asian culture as filtered through his hybrid upbringing. Brendan Lee Satish Tang is the newest addition to the C24 Gallery roster.

Brendan Lee Satish Tang, Manga Ormolu 4.0d, 2008
Ceramic and mixed media
9.5 x 21 x 9in. (24 x 53.25 x 23 cm)

The works in this series, metaphors for tech and culture, reflect the constantly shifting dynamics he has navigated between history and identity.

A Gen-Xer who has admittedly been majorly influenced by comic books and video games, Tang is perhaps best known for his Manga Ormolu ceramic series that blends elements of Chinese Ming Dynasty style vases with animé and manga robotics and technology. Growing up in Nanaimo, on Vancouver Island with no specific ethnic enclave of his own, Tang became adept at blending in, adapting and negotiating various Asian spaces via a western perspective. The works in this series, metaphors for tech and culture, reflect the constantly shifting dynamics he has navigated between history and identity.

Brendan Lee Satish Tang, Manga Ormolu 4.0d, 2008
Ceramic and mixed media
9.5 x 21 x 9in. (24 x 53.25 x 23 cm)

In his Joss Paper series, Tang references a Chinese cultural tradition wherein a paper replica of an object is burned as a way of paying tribute to ancestors. But the use of fire also references the more recent practice of burning written memories as a means of expunging one’s past, raising a number of questions. At what point does the need to release past trauma become so urgent that we need to burn it all to the ground, and what is the value of a memory, and does it weigh us down or set us free?

Brendan Lee Satish Tang, GameBoy, 2019
Watercolour on Paper, Porcelain, Wood, Acrylic
8 x 12 x 4.5 in. (20.25 x 30.5 x 11.5 cm)

The series is a collection of watercolour painted replicas of objects and ephemera that held significant places in his heart as a child and adolescent, such as a Nintendo Game Boy, classic VCRs and iconic record albums. Once meticulously rendered, the painted objects are folded to recreate the original shape and size of the items, and are then mounted, accompanied by a porcelain match, within a plexi-glass display case reminiscent of a museum display. More recently, he constructed a life-sized watercolor rendering of a Ford pick-up truck, as part of his exhibition, Reluctant Offerings.

Brendan Lee Satish Tang, Road-side Tribute
(install at the Nanaimo Art Gallery. Photo Credit: Sean Fenzl)

The dualism of meaning in contemporary culture and the hybridization of old and new are both consistent themes in Tang’s work. His Swimmers series of drawings shows figures in pools whose surfaces are watery, rippled versions of the same blue and white ceramic pattern featured in his Manga Ormoluseries. Says Tang, “From the Ming Dynasty to Spode to Delft to Iznik, this ceramic meme has had a far reach, making it an excellent signifier for a culture and tradition.” By depicting parental figures with children or peers splashing about in this iconic design, he conjures yet another elegant representation of the daily navigation of the cultures that surround us.

Brendan Lee Satish Tang, Untitled (Ming 1), 2012
Inkjet Print (limited edition)
11.5 x 7 in. (29 x 17.75 cm)

In honor of his rich and significant body of work, Tang has just been awarded the 2022 Excellence in Culture Award by the City of Nanaimo. In a bit of fortuitous timing that speaks to the complex cultural mix embedded in his creative practice, it is most fitting that he should be honored by the Canadian city where he resides at the same time as he launches a new relationship with a U.S. art gallery. We are thrilled to be embarking on this international, collaborative partnership at such an exciting time in Brendan Tang's career.

Brendan Lee Satish Tang

represented by
C24 Gallery
560 W 24th Street
New York, New York 10011

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