Nellie (Works)

colour, stereo, loop duration 3 min. 9 sec.
video projector, media player, amplifier, stereo speakers, dimensions variable

Transporting the viewer to a very different time and place, Nellie is inspired by the life of Cornelia van Rijn, Rembrandt’s illegitimate daughter, who at the age of sixteen emigrated to Batavia (present-day Jakarta). Through the character of Cornelia and the way Tan recreates her biography, aspects of Tan’s oeuvre come together: a person’s place in a particular era and geography and the allusion to an ‘exotic’ Far East. Little is known about Cornelia’s life; no portraits of her are known to exist. But this omission from the history books was for the artist an opportunity to give her imagination free reign. With this unsettling work Tan offers a touching homage to a forgotten woman, whose ‘suspended history’ becomes activated again.

Related Works