Karen Tang makes sculptures and installations that explore themes from science, sci-fi, architecture and city life. Her works present surprising structural and material combinations; industrial steel and fibreglass with fluid, painterly surfaces. Colour is intrinsic to the works’ physical presence and the perception of their sculptural forms in space. A variety of making processes are central in Tang’s practice, including epoxy ‘glassing’, carving, modelling, painted or powder-coated metal.
The manipulation of surfaces and materials to appear shifting and pliable runs through Tang’s works. For instance, the ‘molten’ immersive environment of Scopodrome (2010), transformed the interior of a Victorian South London house into a disorienting space reminiscent of spaceships and alien landscapes. Or the blobby, plasticine appearance of Synapsid (2014), the large-scale public sculpture commissioned for Bermondsey Square. Soluble Days (2016) and HypoPit (2016) explore chemically-altered states of stress and relaxation.
The ongoing Magnetic Combo series invites the audience to re-position both the structural steel and fibreglass magnetic elements. Infinite variations can be constructed, with haptic and performative possibilities. Magnetic Combo is inspired by the compositions and stage designs of László Moholy-Nagy, Franz West’s Adaptives, and Lygia Clark’s Relational Objects.
Karen Tang was featured in Contemporary Art Society’s ARTfutures 2005 at Bloomberg SPACE. Karen was commissioned by The Economist, curated by Contemporary Art Society Consultancy, to exhibit at the Economist Plaza in 2006.