Guo-Liang Tan (b. Singapore) is a visual artist working primarily in the field of painting, from which works in other mediums such as text, collage and video sometimes emerge. In his work, surfaces, painterly or otherwise, become a space for performing gestures of affect and conjuring a haunting that converses with the ghosts of abstraction. Gaps and overlaps, traces and fragmentation feature prominently in Tan’s making process. He is interested in how this frames and orientates our sense of time, body and memory.

Tan completed his BA in Fine Art & Critical Studies at Goldsmiths College, London and his MFA at Glasgow School of Art. He was also a guest student at The Städelschule, Frankfurt am Main, Germany and an artist-in-residence at the NTU Centre of Contemporary Art. He is a recipient of Singapore National Arts Council Scholarship as well as the Mackendrick Scholarship and the Antje und Jürgen Conzelmann Preis for painting. He was also a finalist in the Sovereign Asian Art Prize 2018.

His work has been exhibited and collected in Asia and Europe. Recent exhibitions include ‘The Trouble With Painting Today’ (2014) at Pump House Gallery, London, ‘Guo-Liang Tan: Ghost Screen’ (2017) at Ota Fine Arts, Singapore, ‘A Different Way Of (Thinking About) Painting?’ (2017) at Langgeng Art Foundation, Yogyakarta, ‘Ethereal Machines’ (2018) at Ota Fine Arts, Shanghai, ‘DEPTHS: Others, Lands, Selves’ (2018) at Elevation Laos, Vientiane and ‘Reformations’ (2019) at NTU ADM Gallery, Singapore.

Tan belongs to a generation of artists whose creative output extends beyond his own studio practice. Alongside his own work, he also collaborates with other artists on curatorial and publication projects, including ‘Aversions’ and ‘Found & Lost’ (2009) for Osage Gallery, ‘We Who Saw Signs’ (2011) for Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore, ‘Side Affects’ (2019) for Ota Fine Arts and ‘State Of Motion 2020: Rushes Of Time’ for Asian Film Archive.

Guo-Liang Tan is represented by Ota Fine Arts.


Städelschule, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Master of Fine Art, Glasgow School of Art, Glasgow, UK
BA Fine Art & Critical Studies, Goldsmiths College, London, UK


Sovereign Asian Art Prize (finalist)
Centre Of Contemporary Art NTU CCA Residency, Singapore
Antje und Jürgen Conzelmann Preis
Axisweb Artwriting Programme (Scotland), Glasgow, UK
National Arts Council Singapore Scholarship
Mackendrick Scholarship
Close Connection, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Hamal Butt Art Award

Solo Exhibitions

‘Guo-Liang Tan: Ghost Screen’, Ota Fine Arts, Singapore
‘Play Dead’, Space Cottonseed, Singapore

Selected Group Exhibitions

‘Light to Night: _____ -in-Progress’, National Gallery Singapore
‘S.E.A. Focus: hyper-horizon’, Tanjong Pagar Distripark, Singapore

‘Strange Forms Of Life’, STPI Gallery, Singapore
‘Time’, Ota Fine Arts, Singapore
‘Singapura’, Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo
‘Post Art Fair’, Ota Fine Arts, Singapore

‘Desert Garden’, Ota Fine Arts, Shanghai
‘Objects of Desire’, Brother Joseph McNally Gallery, Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore
‘Reformations: Painting in Post 2000 Singapore Art’, NTU ADM Gallery, Singapore
‘DEPTHS: Others, Lands, Selves’, Elevation Laos at icat Gallery, Vientiane, Laos
‘Crossroads’, Ota Fine Arts, Singapore
‘Hikarie Contemprary Art Eye Vol.10’, Tokyo, Japan
‘Ethereal Machines: Guo-Liang Tan & Zang Kunkun’, Ota Fine Arts, Shanghai
‘The Crossing’, Gallery Exit, Hong Kong

‘A Different Way Of (Thinking About) Painting’, Langgeng Art Foundation, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
‘Suppose, there is A’, Earl Lu Gallery, Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore
‘Alfa Tango’, Grey Projects, Singapore

‘Of The Sea’, Chatham Historic Dockyard, UK
‘í drögum / Prehistoric Loom IV’, Akureyri Art Museum, Iceland

‘Peacetime Resistance’, Bærum Kunsthall, Oslo, Norway & Project Room, Glasgow, UK

‘MFA Degree Show’, Glue Factory, Glasgow, UK
‘RUNDGANG 2015’, Städelschule, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
‘The Trouble With Painting Today’, Pump House Gallery, London, UK
‘In Heaps & Hinges’, The Old Hairdresser’s, Glasgow, UK
‘Do You Believe in Angels?’, Equator Art Projects, Singapore/Manila

‘Painting in Singapore’, Equator Art Projects, Singapore

‘Marcel Duchamp in Southeast Asia’, Equator Art Projects, Singapore

‘Remaking Art in the Everyday’, Art Stage, Singapore

‘From left to right and right to east’, Project Space, Huddersfield, UK

‘Imagine The Painting Sees You’, Pilot Art Space, Hastings, UK

Curatorial Projects

‘Strange Forms Of Life’, STPI Gallery, Singapore
‘State Of Motion 2020: Rushes Of Time’, Asian Film Archive, National Archives Singapore
‘Side Affects’, Ota Fine Arts, Singapore
‘Singapore Intensive II: Song-Ming Ang’, Future Perfect, Singapore
‘We Who Saw Signs’, Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore
‘Found & Lost’, Osage Singapore, in affiliation to Singapore Arts Festival
‘Gloaming’, Grey Projects, Singapore
‘The Deep End', p10 Art Space, Singapore
‘And we took ourselves out of our hands (In Search of the Miraculous)’, p10 Art Space, in affiliation to Gravity (organised by Multimedia Art Asia Pacific) and SENI Singapore 2004

Selected Articles

Sherman Sam, ‘How Abstraction Can Improve Your Life’, article in Art-In-Sight, published by OCULA 2018
Anca Rujoiu, ‘What We Take Away With Us (From A Work Of Art)’, in Ghost Screen exhibition catalogue, published by OTA Fine Arts 2017
Kevin Chua, ‘The Uncommitted Life’, in Ghost Screen exhibition catalogue, published by OTA Fine Arts 2017
Adeline Chia, ‘Still life paintings play dead’, Straits Times Life! section, exhibition review, 22 Nov 2012
Joleen Loh, ‘Of floods and flowers’, TODAY Arts section, exhibition review, 22 Nov 2012
Tony Godfrey, ‘Thinking Paintings’, in Play Dead exhibition catalogue, published by Space Cottonseed, 2012
Hanna Scott, ‘Voices of Revolution’, feature article, Surface Magazine, Aug 2011
Mayo Martin, ‘Sign Language’, TODAY Arts section, exhibition review, 8 Aug 2011
Lee Weng Choy, ‘A Conversation about Drawing’, book review on publication Aversions, C-Arts Magazine, Nov/Dec 2009
June Yap, ‘Found & Lost’, exhibition review, Asian Art News, July/Aug 2009