ZAI KUNING was born in 1964 in Singapore, and he lives and works in Singapore. Having worked with an array of sculpture, installation, painting and drawing, experimental sound and music, video, film, performance art, dance and theatre for more than two decades, Kuning resists convenient categorical claims to his art-making. Multi-disciplinary and improvisational art practice has always been important to him. Today he is considered one of the most versatile artists working in the region, and is at the forefront of avant-garde practice in Singapore.
Zai is perhaps most well known for his research and work relating to the Orang Laut - "sea gypsies" or nomadic indigenous fishermen living in the Riau Archipelago – many of whom have lost their homes due to societal developments beyond their control. He has produced a large body of works narrating the cultures and circumstances of the Orang Laut, culminating in the presentation of a large-scale installation for the Singapore Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2017.


[Zai Kuning] (b. 1964, Singapore) lives and works in Singapore. His recent solo exhibitions include “SeptFest 2021: Projek Orang Asli”, The Substation, Singapore (2021), “Dapunta Hyang: Transmission of Knowledge”, 72-13, Singapore (2018), “Zai Kuning”, Ota Fine Arts, Singapore (2018), “Dapunta Hyang: Transmission of Knowledge, Singapore Pavilion”, 57th Venice Biennale, Italy (2017), “Ombak Hitam”, Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo (2016), and “We are home and everywhere”, Ota Fine Arts, Singapore (2014). He has also participated in numerous group exhibitions including "Munakata Miare Art Festival", Munakata City, Fukuoka, Japan (2023), “Reborn-Art Festival 2019”, Ishinomaki, Japan (2019), “Collection Asian Landscapes / Awazu Kiyoshi: Makurihirogeru 5”, 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, Japan (2018), “Two Houses: Politics and Histories in the Contemporary Art Collections of John Chia and Yeap Lam Yang”, Institute of Contemporary Arts, Singapore (2018), “In Search of Southeast Asia through the M+ Collections”, M+, Hong Kong (2018), “Mode of Liaisons”, Bangkok Art and Culture Centre, Bangkok, Thailand (2017), “Secret Archipelago”, Palais De Tokyo, Paris (2015), and “Welcome to the Jungle: Contemporary Art in Southeast Asia from the Collection of Singapore Art Museum”, Yokohama Museum of Art, Yokohama, Japan (2013). His works are also in the collection of the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum (Japan), Singapore Art Museum (Singapore), M+ (Hong Kong), and Kadist Art Foundation (France and USA).

Installation shots
of 1