Ho Sin Tung
Because They Are There, 2016
Colour Pencil on Paper
H102 x W68 cm
USD 12,000

Preferring to work on a small scale and favouring pencil and graphite on paper above other media, HO Sin Tung gives visual expression to her intentional misreading of all aspects of the cinema, not only films themselves but the buildings in which they are shown, posters and other ephemera. Drawing from her interest in films and literature, her work also reveals her familiarity with a wide range of twentieth century visual art to which she refers in her tongue-in-cheek homages to the “movies.”

In HO’s works, horror movies is supplemented by designs for vintage LP covers and newspaper ads for imaginary movies. She recognizes that “the horror film has a significance in the history of film that should not be neglected – it tirelessly brings up the past, retelling stories that have been rejected over and over again. It makes sure that prayers that were unheard will be heard; justice that was absent will resurface once more. Horror films respond to reality in the same way that our bodies react to horror films.

These drawings, although milder and more tactful in tone, disrupt the familiarity of the densely-knit fabric of day-to-day life, exposing its inner abnormality. Her fastidiously executed posters for imaginary horror films with their off-beat humour and eccentric typography captivate with their mordant wit.

The particular charm of HO’s posters for non-existent films derives from her ability to compress a wide range of cinematic, art historical and literary references into carefully orchestrated compositions. Executed with the greatest finesse in coloured pencil on tea-stained paper they exude what the artist refers to as “an antiquated quality.” Unique among cinéastes, she gives visual expression to her ‘mis-reading’ of all aspects of the cinema rather than formal and critical analysis.


Ho imagines and participates in the world through researching it. She regards research as a method to lost oneself steadily. Navigating through the texts and materials, Ho encounters punctum that haunts her. Those could not be named thus transformed into works. This is a way to live with it. Ho has a penfriend who describes her as this: "Ho Sin Tung regards the dead as the living. Objects, events, knowledge gain the status of the living in her world. They have their own face and so dignified that they cannot be categorized.” Ho was born in Hong Kong, and currently living and working there.