Cedric Tai

Artist Statement:

I recognize the importance of the jester, the fool, in turning our expectations against ourselves. Some works are created to provoke, or at least make us more conscious of the level of participation that is allowed at a given moment.

There is value in re-representing the many ways that indirectness is part of how we make meaning in our lives. People fall into ideal careers they didn't know existed, fall in love by chance, but we still cling to a perceived sense of control rather than to embrace the unknown. My work propels me to have new experiences and to enjoy being a part of them.

I balance a prolific studio practice with volunteering in various art-related communities to inform my work. My exhibitions are comprised of gestures that respond to the absurdity within artistic practice and life.

Generally, I arrive to a simple gesture that may have required creating complicated systematic approaches to cover a lot of ground, but I know that the work results in joyfully surprising outcomes with a great deal of depth.


Cedric Tai was born in Detroit in 1985. He graduated from Michigan State University in art education and studio art with a concentration in painting and ceramics. He has won numerous awards including the 2009 Kresge Artist Fellowship awarded by Kresge Arts in Detroit, a Vermont Studio Center Fellowship and a Knight Foundation Arts Challenge Award.

He is represented by Simone DeSousa Gallery in Detroit and he currently works, writes and volunteers between Los Angeles, Detroit and Glasgow. Recent collaborative projects include: Bar-Fund, The Best Friends Learning Gang, and theDetroiter.com

Selected exhibitions and publications include Kumasi J. Barnett/Cedric Tai, Roy G Biv, Columbus, OH (2008), Concept Structure Torture Survival Title, New City Space, Glasgow (2011), Quantified Self, Gallery Projects, Ann Arbor, MI (2012), Indirectly Yours, Intermedia, CCA, Glasgow (2013), We Need More ________!, Re:View Contemporary (2014), and Amateur Strategies, Kerckhoff Gallery, UCLA (2015)