Drawn to the ambiguities and mysteries surrounding the subjects of death, creation and religion, Tristan Cai is interested in the cultural production of knowledge and the realities that humanity constructs in these domains. He draws inspiration from academic research and first-hand interaction with individuals, ranging from bio-ethicists to cult victims. Cai’s practice involves using photography and multi-disciplinary installations to create oblique narratives that are critical of the common functions of photography. He has explored themes such as “the overly nostalgic nature of the medium, a medium of illusion and of many truths ” amongst others. His works are influenced by the epic theatre of Bertolt Brecht and Kant’s aesthetic philosophy. Tristan Cai received his MFA from San Francisco Art Institute and his BFA(hons) from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Cai has been included in recent exhibitions at Phoenix Art Museum, Month of Photography Los Angeles, Arles Voies Off, France, the National Museum of Singapore, Noorderlicht Photography Festival, Netherlands, Kumho Museum of Art, Seoul, GoEun Museum of Photography, Busan, RS Project, Berlin, and Shanghai World Exposition, China amongst others. His works have also been featured on Humble Arts Foundation New York, Conscientious, CameraArts, F-Stop, Yvi, TimeOut, Culturepush and Photography Forum. In recognition of his works, he has been awarded the San Francisco Art Institute MFA Fellowship, Murphy and Cadagon Contemporary Art Award and Professional Development Grant from the National Arts Council. He was a nominee for the Icon de Martell Cordon Bleu Prize as well as the 20|20 exhibition at Noorderlicht Photography Festival in the Netherlands. Cai is also a new addition to the faculty of St. Mary’s College of Maryland and serves as Assistant Professor of Photography in the Department of Art and Art History.
Department of Art > Artist House 2016-17 > Brown Bag Lunchtime Talk: Tristan Cai, Assistant Professor of Photography