(b. 1959, Singapore)
Suzann Victor is a Singapore-born Sydney-based contemporary artist known for prospecting the dimensions of human sensorial experience, perception and phenomena by mining materials from the body, the natural elements of light, water and sound to the science of physics, in conjunction with engineered components and the readymade. Through intimate performances or large-scale installations, public artworks and endeavours of collective labour, Victor interrogates the significance of sites, spaces and architecture to transform them into immersive context- and site-specific environments, thereby drawing awareness to the viewer’s own body as an investigative tool for apprehending the world at large.
A leading figure in Singapore’s contemporary-art scene, she was a Co-founder and Artistic Director of Singapore’s first corporate-sponsored art space, 5th Passage, as well as the first female artist to represent Singapore at the Venice Biennale. Victor’s socio-political works are recognised for their critical engagement with the cultural aftermath of postcolonialism in Southeast Asia, the politics of female disembodiment and the inversion of the abject. On environmental concerns, her interest in manifesting natural phenomenon using green technology caused natural rainbow arcs to appear within the museum’s rotunda at the 4th Singapore Biennale – a conjuring by the eye as the producer of objectless art. Its methodological precursor, the Rich Manoeuvre iterations, presented a mid-air calligraphy of twelve live ephemeral drawings rendered by moving lights from swaying chandelier-pendulums – a signature kinetic series whose ocular nature captivated audiences physiologically and psychologically at multiple international venues. Her re-materialisation of Fresnel lenses and smashed stained glass have also become iconic elements associated with her practice. This conflation of dynamic image, sumptuous materiality, movement, and multi-tiered concepts epitomizes Victor’s oeuvre.
Victor’s works have been commissioned for presentation beyond Venice in notable exhibitions including the 6th Havana Biennale, 2nd Asia-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, the 6th Gwangju Biennale, and the 4th Singapore Biennale. she was singled out from the Sunshower Exhibition (Tokyo, 2017) to be honoured by the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum with a special artist residency. Her 1998 performance, Still Waters, was also honoured as the theme of the M1 Singapore Fringe Festival in 2019 while her works reside in the collections of numerous public and private collections worldwide.