Interval n. 1. a period between two events or times, or the space between two end points 2. the difference in pitch between two notes
Interval is a film installation project by interdisciplinary artist Suki Chan exploring our transient relationships with buildings and the nature of our inhabitation of space and time, with particular reference to two contrasting types of architecture from British and Chinese history and culture. The work uses light, moving image, electronics and sound with mixed media installation to create a sensual experience inviting the viewer to meditate on their relationship to a larger environment.
Interval investigates the relationship between light, architecture and memory, juxtaposing a Victorian cast iron pier in Northwest England and a rammed earth Hakka roundhouse in Southwest China. The film investigates traces of human presence within the buildings as well as social and cultural shifts within the respective societies.
An icon of industrialization, cast iron piers are reminiscent of the Victorian era and its grand vision for the advancement of humanity through science and technology. Boldly stretching out over the sea towards the horizon, the structure brings us closer towards the elements of nature as well as being a site of cultural activity. Today, many are falling into disrepair and a new community has taken refuge. Thousands of starlings returning to roost mark their arrival at the end of each day with mesmerizing swarming formations in the sky
Rammed-earth roundhouses are buildings designed to protect its inhabitants from the elements of nature and are traditional Hakka dwellings. The Hakka are an ethnic subgroup from China with a long history of migration, and are known as the Jews of China. The form of this traditional dwelling articulates a collective spirit and an aspiration for security of the community.
Interval is inspired by the seasonal migration of birds, recalling the artist’s own childhood memory. Chan migrated to the UK from Hong Kong with her family in the age of six. After the move she became a guest to her birthplace. The film explores her connection with her birthplace, which is distanced from both in time and geographically, as well as her relationship with her current home, Britain.
Suki Chan is a featured artist in Chinese Arts Centre’s forthcoming publication, 21 – Discussions with artists of Chinese in the UK. Featuring in depth interviews with twenty UK based Chinese artists, group discussions and essays as well as extensive imagery of the artists’ works, 21 provides an insight into the individual art practices and explores the history of Chinese artists in the UK. The publication will be launched at the opening of Suki Chan’s exhibition on Thursday 9 October 2008.
Suki Chan was born in Hong Kong and currently lives and works in London. She graduated with BA (Hons) from Goldsmiths College, London in 1999 and is currently completing an MA in Fine Art at Chelsea School of Art, London. Chan has participated in solo and group shows, artist residencies and research projects in the UK and internationally, including Spain (El Tanque), Germany, America, Singapore and China (Museum of Contemporary Art). Recent shows include Sequence and Repetition, bridgeartfair and Jerwood Space, London. Her recent neon installation (Story of Rice 3) is collected by New Walk Museum.
For email interviews, images and further information on Chinese Arts Centre, please contact Felicity Clarke at Chinese Arts Centre on:
+44 (0) 161 832 7271
Chinese Arts Centre, Market Buildings, Thomas Street, Manchester, M4 1EU
+44 (0)161 832 7271
Mon-Sat 10am – 5pm and Sun 11am-4pm