Casey Tang


A sunbeam on a fern, a river curving through a temperate forest, leads to a gradual unfolding of space and networked histories. Gardeners meticulously maintain Murin-an, a 200-year old garden, created by political and military leader Yamagata Aritomo, one of the chief architects of modern Japan. Aritomo modeled the Japanese army after the Prussian military and waged wars with nearby nations to transform Japan from an agricultural state to a modern industrial one to prevent Japan from being colonized by Western countries.

A former US military officer turned Indigenous language linguist describes a forest in Passamaquoddy, an endangered language from the Northeast United States. The linguist explains how, as a Marine, he was trained to believe colonizing people was a way to help them. However, his experiences in Japan made him turn away from imperialist ideology, leave the military, and dedicate his life to preserving his culture's language and arts.

Aritomo led the rapid modernization of Japan and had a predilection for foreign architecture. The property has one of the first western-style houses and iron stoves in Japan. On the second floor of this building, Aritomo held a pivotal meeting, ushering in the Russo-Japanese war. Japan would ultimately defeat Russia enabling it to emerge as a sovereign state with global influence. In the distance, animal calls can be heard from the nearby Kyoto City Zoo, another Western import. It was established at the beginning of the Meiji-era as entertainment for the many politicians in the area.

Casey is currently researching ontologies experientially aligned with complex adaptive systems. He has participated in “Catalyst” at the Queens Museum, the Central Academy of Fine Art Museum Biennale, “CAFAM Future”: Observer-Creator, “Beijing, “Landmarked” at Socrates Sculpture Park, Long Island City, NY, had a solo exhibition at Charpa Gallery, Valencia, Spain, Booklyn, Brooklyn. He is a recipient of the 2018 Center for Contemporary Art Kitakyushu Fellowship, selected by Rirkrit Tiravanija, 2015 Queens Museum/Jerome Foundation Fellowship for Emerging Artist, 2013 New Vision Award from He Xiangning Art Museum. His work is in various collections including Stanford University, the Inelcom foundation, selected by Vicente Todolí, and He Xiangning museum.