Thaddaeus Ropac

Terence Koh

06 Oct - 14 Nov 2009

Postcard to a Rose in Paris, 2009
10 x 15 cm (4 x 6 in)

"Often vying between minimalist and baroque sensibilities, Koh's absorbing monochromatic environments and delicately crafted sculptures stage sites of some unknown ritual, where a sense of loss suggests regeneration. The work plays on the melancholic beauty and sublime transcendence of emptiness, evocations of darkness that create our isolated worlds, and the intertwining of life and death."
- Shamim M. Momin

Terence Koh is currently living in Paris to prepare his first solo show at the gallery, which will take the form of an imaginary opera in eight acts. The first act will take place on October 6 and the eighth act will be during the FIAC, on October 22. Throughout the weeks building up to the opening, he will be drawing from the city's architecture, atmosphere and sensuality to compose this experimental tragic opera and to create drawings, collages and photographs around the yet unperformed scenes of this unorthodox production.

In his installations, objects, wall pieces, and performances, Terence Koh creates a space in which memory and imagination mix with art history and subculture. He explores such diverse subjects as mythology, religion, identity, power, fashion and sexuality, in an often provocative manner, charged with possible symbolic readings.

Known for his monochromatic installations, and ritualistic performances, Terence Koh will transform the ground floor of the gallery into an all-white set for an opera in which he will play the main character alongside eight white-clad performers. Within the story, loosely based on The Little Prince, we find elements from Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot and the French New Wave, punctuated by experimental live music and singing - Koh will play a piece of music composed using only the white keys of a piano (a reference to Anton Reicha, who used innovative methods of composition) - immersing the public into the artist's unique cosmos. Koh has invited surprise guest actors to perform on the opening night of the first act of Adansonias.

Terence Koh (born 1980 in Beijing, China) grew up in Mississauga, Canada and received his Bachelor degree from the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design in Vancouver. He is currently living in New York City. In 2008, he was listed in Out magazine's "100 People of the Year", and was short listed for the SOBEY awards. He has exhibited widely around the United States and extensively abroad. Koh's work has been the subject of many outstanding solo exhibitions including Love for Eternity at the Musac in Leon, Spain (2008); Captain Buddha curated by Dr. Martina Weinhart, at the Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt, Germany (2008); at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, curated by Shamim Momin (2007); at the Kunsthalle in Zurich, Switzerland, curated by Beatrix Ruf (2006); Gone, Yet Still at the Wien Secession in Vienna, Austria (2005). He has also participated in a number of major group exhibitions such as The Collectors, by Elmgreen and Dragset at this year's Danish and Nordic Pavillons of the Venice Biennale, The Porn Identity at the Kunsthalle Wien in Vienna, Austria (2009) and USA Today at the Royal Academy of Arts in London (2006).

Tags: Emily Carr, Terence Koh, Martina Weinhart