Thought Lines – An exhibition by Berny Tan at Supernormal in Singapore

VCS alumna Berny Tan has an exhibition of new works on display through January 28th at Supernormal, an independent art space in Singapore. Supernormal’s website contains the following description of the show:



In her first solo exhibition, Berny Tan presents a new series of twenty abstract embroideries, reflecting on the medium’s obsessive nature through the repetitive motion of stitching. Each study is created by adhering to sets of written rules, based on thought patterns and mechanisms that manifest within the artist’s personal anxieties.

Rejecting the image-making typical of traditional embroidery, the artist concentrates on meticulously enacting these systems.

 Yet, there remains a latent tension between the mechanical and the human – the pieces are intensely structured at first glance, but closer inspection reveals how every decision, inconsistency, and workaround is recorded in thread.

The series thus seeks to inhabit an ambiguous space where the delicate and the compulsive, the therapeutic and the torturous all coexist; where the desire for control also keeps perfection out of reach.

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As part of the exhibition, Berny is also giving an artist talk at the space. The event announcement includes the following additional information about her and her work:

Working against the image-making typical of both traditional and contemporary embroidery, Berny Tan’s abstract embroidery studies emphasise a painstaking process of stitching stemming from her own obsessions and anxieties. In this talk, the artist will trace the trajectory of her conceptual exploration of the medium, her artistic influences ranging from Minimalism to Sad Girl Theory, and the development of the systems-based approach of her ‘Thought Lines’ series.


Berny Tan (b. 1990) was born and raised in Singapore, and graduated with a BFA in Visual & Critical Studies from the School of Visual Arts (2014). An artist, curator, writer and occasional designer, her practice explores the inherent tension in her attempts to systematise intangible, emotional experiences.

Berny’s said that she’ll send along some images of the exhibition once she’s had a chance to document it, so I’ll post a follow-up retrospective with those images and her comments here soon.

Visual & Critical Studies