Natalie TSYU is an interdisciplinary artist and researcher based in Oslo - Tokyo. One of the most important aspects of her artistic practice is an exploration of the environment. For her research, Natalie turns to the ethnography of the place through the archaism of the locality, texts, and the memory of generations. Immersion in folklore and anthropology of movement allows her to find spaces for rethinking artistic performative methods in the context of the collective memory of a space.
TSYU manifests her research projects through experimental para-archives, audio-visual narrations, sound, and performance, accompanied by artistic books, graphics, and diverse forms of essays. She graduated from The Oslo National Academy in 2019 and is part of the artistic research project DUNKE-DUNK related to the reconstruction of being in the north of Norway, which forms a method of (re)reading, opening up a space for interdisciplinary cooperation and meetings with the region, history, and art communities between the countries of the Barents region. The research received sponsorship from The Norwegian Barents Secretariat in 2020. In 2022, Natalie received a Japanese government scholarship for: (Un)mute performance: Developing an artistic methodology for ontological instruments based on the history of sound art in Japan (1980-2000) and Hirayama Ikuo Culture and Arts Award 平山郁夫文化芸術賞 in 2023. Currently, she is conducting the research project [Matter]iality of Memory – Tracing Invisible Roots in Hokkaido under the JREX fellowship and GEIDAI, Global Art Practice program.
My artistic practice is dedicated to the study of the anthropology of the place. Through contact with different forms of ethnographic evidence, I explore the flaws of intertemporal information, collective memory and its' transmission. In my works, I try to reflect collective performative knowledge, the ways of transmission beyond the boundaries of the physical body and place. Such performative knowledge erases the boundaries of locality, transforming this locality into new mobility.
For me, one of the defining characteristics of a person's movement is the way they perceive the space around him/her. It seems that the ability of a person to choose his / her own habitat, to control or even change this environment, creates a significant property of mobility. This mobility creates a particular memory of a place: a memory without clear physical boundaries. We are surrounded by many movements, determined by many factors and elements. Determining the nature of the movement is extremely difficult since each movement creates its own vector and, thus, its own story. In my practice, I research these movements. Through an ecological approach, I observe the diversity of the places' nature and the circulation of movements in them. I observe what kind of movement this or that place possesses, I investigate to what extent the place possesses the memory of generations. Exploring the archival data of this or that local reality, through artistic experiments, I seek the unique nature of collective knowledge. For me, this knowledge is a kind of spatial form: an ecosystem, where the narrative of its inhabitants goes beyond its own historical context. Where contextual displacement forms a special field for one's own artistic experiment, ultimately creating a single living archive.