‘The Tigers Have Found Us’ is a pop-up exhibition created by Louis Montes and Martin Wendelbo Rasmussen from Tofu Collective. The exhibition took place at the Chinese restaurant Hot Pot Republic located in Vesterbro, Copenhagen with the purpose of transforming a restaurant into an exhibition space. The next day it was decided to rearrange the exhibition in order to create a mix of leisure and art in the rooms in the following month.
The exhibition investigates the monumental experience of being thrown head first into the buzzling metropolises of East Asia by displaying photographs taken during their residencies in Japan, China and Hong Kong.
On no particular night in Hong Kong, Martin explored the innards of an abandoned middle school. In one of the classrooms he was met with the statement “The Tigers Have Found Us” spray painted on one of the walls. At the time, the statement didn’t present itself as anything else than a bad translation of a philosophical Chinese saying. It wasn’t until later, when Louis and Martin met during the process of creating Tofu Collective, comparing East Asian experiences, that the true meaning began to present itself.
In East Asian cultures, tigers are known as the kings of all beasts symbolising power, protection and unpredictability – much like metropolises, the kings of cities with unmatched power, protection and unpredictability. The collection of photos is the reflection that later helped them both understand their individual, yet shared experiences as foreigners on the other side of the globe – the paradox of feeling like you are at the center of the universe, while also feeling more alone than ever.
The metropolises consumed them. The towers around them were overpowering. Every corner hid something new. Every new sight was a visual bite more flavourful than the last. The feeling of never knowing what to expect excited them, but also scared them – once the cityscapes surrounded you at Hot Pot Republic, ready for you to consume.
Written by Nichlas E. Kofoed
Date: 12 July 2020