Ongoing globalization, like the recent surge of English as a popular second language learned by the Chinese (and vice versa, Mandarin by English speakers), inspired artist Laurens Tan to create this sculpture and video installation currently on view in the Sahara West lobby. The artwork explores the idea that the language barrier, associated biblically with the Tower of Babel, may finally be reversed in order to facilitate better communication and accord. The original version of this work was commissioned in 2009 by PKM Gallery (Seoul, South Korea). The 3D architectural interpretation of Breughel's painting of the Tower of Babel was also featured at Art Asia Miami (Art Basel 2012).
The installation tracks Mandarin word ideologies that stem from western contact, from initial contact in the 70s to absorption into contemporary China.
Analyzing cultural signifiers through sculpture, 3D animation, and other media, Australian multidisciplinary artist Laurens Tan explores the ways in which language negotiates transformations in a globalizing world.
Working out of studios in Las Vegas, Beijing, and Sydney, Tan has participated in residencies and exhibitions at the Museum of Art Seoul National University, S. Korea, and Fat Art 2 @ Today Art Museum, Beijing, with recent commissions by the University of Chicago (Beijing Center), Red Gate Gallery, Beijing; the Murray Art Museum Albury, and the City of Sydney's Chinese Lunar Lanterns Festival.
Another sculpture from Laurens Tan's Babalogic series will also be featured in "Plural," a UNLV Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art exhibition of new acquisitions on view from February 9, 2018 to May 12, 2018.