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Behind the Scenes: artist Tyler Coburn and Zhuo Hongyi, Project Manager, Toh Garden

14 Oct 2018, Sun 02:00 PM - 05:00 PM
NTU CCA Singapore & Toh Garden, 11 Lor Pasu

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During his 2017 residency at NTU CCA Singapore, Tyler Coburn developed a relationship with Singapore’s Toh Garden, which cultivates many orchid hybrids named after politicians and celebrities. In turn, Coburn legally named one of the Garden’s hybrids “Richard Roe,” a name used in American and British case law when the actual name of a person cannot be given. This session will start at NTU CCA Singapore, where Coburn will introduce his orchid hybrid and elaborate on the conventions of naming, then conclude at Toh Garden with a tour led by Zhuo Hongyi.



Tyler Coburn (United States) works with writing, installation, performance, and sound, addressing historical and emergent forms of labour: from the artist to the data miner, the factory worker to the cognitariat. Coburn works in a research-oriented, interdisciplinary, and occasionally collaborative manner, involving the participation of those working within the fields in question. No matter the focus of a given project, there are certain questions that drive Coburn’s practice at large: What does creative (or “uncreative”) writing look like in the 21st century? How can an artwork engage the complexities of our legal, technological, and geopolitical networks? Finally, what becomes of “subjectivity” and “the self” within post-human discourse? Coburn received a BA in Comparative Literature from Yale University and an MFA from the University of Southern California. He also served as a fellow in the Whitney Independent Study Program from 2014–15. His work has been presented at South London Gallery; Kunstverein Munich; Kunsthalle Wien; Western Front, Vancouver; Grazer Kunstverein; UCCA, Beijing; and Sculpture Center, New York. Coburn participated in the 11th Gwangju Biennale and the 10th Shanghai Biennale. His writing has appeared in e-flux journal, Frieze, Dis, Mousse, and Rhizome. Coburn was an NTU CCA Singapore Artist-in-Residence from June to July 2017.

Zhuo Hongyi (Singapore) is Project Manager at Toh Garden. Raised in a family of commercial orchid growers, Zhuo has a BSc in Life Sciences from National University Singapore. At Toh Garden, he is mainly responsible for the orchid projects, securing orchid supplies and designing orchidscapes for clients. Zhuo has managed projects with the National Orchid Garden, Gardens by the Bay, Orchid Country Club, and UBS AG, among others.


A public programme of Stagings. Soundings. Readings. Free Jazz II.

Image caption: Tyler Coburn, Richard Roe, 2018, orchid hybrid legally named “Richard Roe” by the artist, custom glass pots fabricated by Verreum, performance and related texts. Commissioned by Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary. Courtesy the artist.