The Power Plant

Howie Tsui


Courtesy Howie Tsui

Howie Tsui (徐浩恩, b. 1978, Hong Kong - raised in Lagos and Thunder Bay) is based in Vancouver. Working in ink brush, sound sculptures, lenticular lighboxes and installation, Tsui constructs tense, fictive environments that undermine venerated art forms and narrative genres, often stemming from the Chinese literati tradition. He employs a stylized form of derisive and exaggerated imagery as a way to satirize and disarm broadening regimes and their programs of cultural hegemony. The most notable branch of his practice involves the use of algorithmic animation sequences to raise questions around order, chaos and the potential of social harmony through self-organized societies. Tsui synthesizes diverging socio-cultural anxieties around superstition, trauma, surveillance and otherness through a distinctly outsider lens to cast light onto liminal and diasporic experiences.

Recent solo exhibitions include the Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota, Florida (2020); Burrard Arts Foundation, Vancouver (2020); Ottawa Art Gallery (2019); OCAT Museum, Xi’an, China (2018); and Vancouver Art Gallery (2017). Select Group exhibitions include the Asian Art Fair, Paris (2019); Ottawa Art Gallery (2018); Art Labor, Shanghai (2015); Dalhousie Art Gallery, Nova Scotia (2015); Para Site, Hong Kong (2014); and the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa (2014). Tsui received Canada Council's Joseph Stauffer Prize in 2005 and was long-listed for the Sobey Art Award in 2018. He holds a BFA (2002) from the University of Waterloo.