kinwah tsang: the fifth seal at mori art museum kinwah tsang: the fifth seal at mori art museum
oct 03, 2011

kinwah tsang: the fifth seal at mori art museum

tsang kin-wah: the fifth seal – he shall deliver you up to be afflicted and killed as he was mori art museum, tokyo on now until january 15th, 2012

installation view of ‘the fifth seal’ at mori art museum all images courtesy tsang kin-wah

chinese contemporary artist tsang kin-wah is working on an ongoing project called ‘the seven seals’. the series of seven digital video installations uses texts and computer technology to project tsang’s thoughts on various issues of the day. the body of work first began in 2009, and draws references from a variety of sources including the bible, judeo-christian eschatology, existentialism, metaphysics, politics etc., which attempt to articulate the complex situation of the world and the dilemmas that people are facing.


‘the first seal’ was the start of the artistic series on show at the hong kong museum of art. see designboom’s article of the first installation ‘it would be better if you have never been born’ here.

‘the seven seals’ is now in its ‘fifth seal’ stage. on show at the mori art museum in tokyo this phase is entitled ‘he shall deliver you up to be afflicted and killed as he was’. as with the previous presentations, animated phrases and short sentences float and move around the gallery walls, sometimes whispering things to the viewer, and other times appearing like an admonition revealing the nature of human beings and the changes in our emotions. sometimes sparse and other times congesting the gallery walls full of text, these phrases are meant to remind us of issues related to death, murder, revolution, self-denial, suicide, terrorism, war etc.

sometimes the walls are completely congested with text…

without any clear or defined beginning or end, each individual installations of ‘the seven seals’ creates different cycles of text on continuous loops that appear to repeat without end. in a way they echo the concept of ‘eternal recurrence’ whereby all the issues and dilemmas of daily existence are seen perpetually recurring for an infinite number of fleeting instances, even though we recognize and are aware of them for a much longer time.

tsang is a good friend of designboom. back in 2005 he collaborated with us on the ‘f-ing t-shirt’, a garment depicting lines of flowing text and phrases, similar to that of his large installations, but on a smaller, wearable scale. the t-shirts were sold out almost immediately in our designboom shop.

general view

other times, text is more sparse, as if floating phrases move across the walls

phrases  are meant to remind us of issues related to death, murder, revolution, self-denial, suicide, terrorism, war etc.

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