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Jack Tan

Country: United Kingdom


Jack makes work that explores the connection between the social, the legal and art. Using social relations and cultural norms as material, he creates performances, performatives, sculpture, video and participatory projects that highlight the rules — customs, rituals, habits and theories — that guide human behaviour.

Prior to becoming an artist, Jack trained as a lawyer and worked in civil litigation as well as in NGOs undertaking human rights case, policy and anti-racist campaigning work. He then studied ceramics, obtaining a BA from the University of Westminster and an MA from the Royal College of Art. In 2020, Jack completed his Ph.D in legal aesthetics and performance at the University of Roehampton, Dept of Drama, Theatre and Performance. Jack is a co-editor of the Art/Law Journal.

Recent projects include Four Legs Good (2018) a revival of the medieval animal trials for Compass Festival Leeds and V&A London; Voices from the Courts (2016) a Singapore Biennale presentation and residency at the State and Family Justice Courts of Singapore exploring legal vocality; Karaoke Court (2014-ongoing) a legally-binding karaoke dispute resolution process; Law’s Imagination (2016) a curatorial residency on legal aesthetics at arebyte; his solo exhibition How to do things with rules (2015) at the Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore; A kiss is just a kiss (2014), a performance exploring kissing and reconciliation at the Institute of International Visual Arts (Iniva), London; The Office of Public Ritual (2014–ongoing), an artists’ collective and bespoke ritual design service; and Closure (2012), a year-long residency and exhibition at the UK Department for Health, which documented the legal dissolving of a social work quango.

He was the Special Projects Curator for fig-2, a year-long series of 50 exhibitions in 50 weeks at the ICA London, and has also curated shows for Wiltshire Creative (Salisbury) and arebyte (London). He teaching experience includes: MA Sculpture Royal College of Art (2011-2013), MA Art & Politics at Goldsmiths (2018), BA (Hons) Sculpture at Brighton University (2012-2016), BA (Hons) Fine Art at Goldsmiths (2015-2017), BA (Hons) Theatre at Roehampton University (2013-2015).

Born in Singapore, Jack is based in Galloway, Southwest Scotland.


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