About the Artwork

Karen Tang’s Synapsid (2014) is a large, vividly coloured sculpture which seems to morph between abstract, alien and animal forms.  With its radioactive hues and blobby segments, Synapsid evokes sci-fi invasion scenarios where monsters rampage through the built environment. The sculpture takes its title from the scientific name for proto-mammals which evolved to have skulls distinct from those of reptiles; the structure of Synapsid hints at a cranial enclosure and eye-sockets. Viewers are drawn into Synapsid’s apertures and interior spaces, which are designed to be immersive, interactive and playful. Synapsid was originally commissioned by VITRINE gallery for SCULPTURE AT Bermondsey Square.

Year: 2014

Copyright the artist; Courtesy of l'étrangère Gallery; Photo: © Nick Turpin


Epoxy, fibreglass, paint, Styrofoam, timber, steel


330 x 400 x 310 cm

Artist Biography

Karen Tang

Karen Tang (b. London 1978) exhibits internationally in galleries and the public realm. Karen studied at Chelsea College of Arts then the Slade School of Fine Art, leaving in 2004 with a MFA (Distinction) in Sculpture and was awarded the Duveen Travel Scholarship. Her sculptures offer viewers the experience of surprising structural and material combinations, with unexpected forms that reference science, sci-fi, architecture and city life. Karen’s sculptures have been commissioned by The Contemporary Art Society, The Economist, The National Trust, VITRINE, South London Gallery, Ealing Council with Heritage Lottery funding, and presented at venues including: Vestfossen Kunstlaboratorium Norway, Bloomberg Space, Jerwood Space, Ambika P3, MAMA Rotterdam, Dalston Superstore, Guest Projects, CFCCA Manchester, Agency Gallery, Pumphouse Gallery, Sainsburys Centre for Visual Arts and The Collection, Lincoln.