The Critical Dictionary of Southeast Asia (2017-present) by internationally acclaimed artist Ho Tzu Nyen (b. 1976, Singapore) is part of an ongoing project that grows, generates and provides critical insight into the pluralistic definitions of the territories under the term “Southeast Asia.” Born out of recognition for how sweeping the term “Southeast Asia” is, it considers what makes up an area not unified by language, religion or political power.

At the heart of the exhibition will be a moving image installation, in which an algorithm, created by the artist in collaboration with software developer Jan Gerber and media artist Sebastian Lütgert, weaves together a rich tapestry of texts, music, and found footage pertaining to an alphabetized list of concepts, generating different permutations with every loop. This stream of algorithmically-edited images are accompanied by the voiceover of Singaporean musician and vocalist Bani Haykal, who sings a series of notes about Southeast Asia that Ho has accumulated over many years of research. These notes offer sometimes condensed and sometimes rewritten explanations of a number of keywords that Ho sees are of particular significance in the Southeast Asian context – such as anarchism, buffalo, corruption, decay, epidemics, forest, gong, humidity, etc. This same algorithm will also trigger flashes from a screen of LED lights positioned behind the screen, that will occasionally wash out the video imagery. This not only asserts the algorithm’s material presence as a distant controller of content, but is also suggestive of the metaphorical process of desensitization to media and the afterimage of colonialization.

This exhibition will be the US premiere.

Operating hours for the Crow Museum of Asian Art of The University of Texas at Dallas: Tuesdays through Sundays, 11 am - 5 pm.

Crow Museum of Asian Art of The University of Texas at Dallas 2010 Flora Street, Dallas, TX 75201

Free to the public

Crow Museum of Asian Art


Caroline Kim

UTD strives to create inclusive and accessible events in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). If you require an accommodation to fully participate in this event, please contact the event coordinator (listed above) at least 10 business days prior to the event. If you have any additional questions, please email and the AccessAbility Resource Center at

  • Olivia Pietrzak
  • Hasmitha Jalla
  • Meagan Walters
  • Adrianne Quick

Event Publishing

Add an Event 

Submit your own event using our simple event submission form. It only takes a minute!

Event Publisher Training 

Learn best practices to maximize the calendar’s latest features.

Make a Calendar Feed 

Embed events anywhere on the web with our widget builder.

Explore Comet Calendar

Events by Email

Get a personalized list of events in your inbox with our digest emailer.

30-second Survey

Share your feedback and suggestions on how we can improve the Comet Calendar.

The University of Texas at Dallas