The West Gallery
Sat, 22 Sep 2012 - Sat, 01 Dec 2012Inspired by Charles Dickens’ novel, A Tale of Two Cities and the Hundred Flowers Movement in China, artist Suki Chan has created an exhibition of newly commissioned work, A Hundred Seas Rising.
The work explores how literature might be implicated in the imagination and trajectories of revolutions, referencing the Hundred Flowers Movement in China. The movement invited a variety of views and solutions to national policy issues, the name of which originated from a poem: “Let a hundred flowers bloom; let a hundred schools of thought contend.”
The installation uses the sound of one hundred individual voices as sculptural material, re-imagining Dickens’ French revolutionary mob sonically by creating surges of ideological thought that reverberate across the gallery space. People of all ages and backgrounds, from Portsmouth and further afield were asked to participate in this re-imagination of their modern day life. What they want to change might be personal, social, cultural, philosophical, technological, or political. Contributors were encouraged to describe the cause or structure they would like to transform, the motivating ideology for this change - including books that might have inspired their ideas, their objectives and how this would be achieved, i.e. through peaceful or violent means. The voice of each participant was recorded individually and then each recording was assigned to one of one hundred school desks, arranged in rows like a classroom environment. It is intended that the voices represent a cross-section of views from different cultural and social backgrounds.
Suki Chan was born in Hong Kong and lives and works in London. Chan graduated from Goldsmiths in 1999 and completed an MA in Fine Art at Chelsea School of Art in 2008. Her recent solo shows include: Utopia on the Horizon, Tintype, London; and Sleep Walk Sleep Talk, a major video installation commissioned by Film and Video Umbrella, shown at Hiroshima Museum of Contemporary Art and the Museum of London. Join us on 25th Oct where Suki will be talking about her work in more detail.
A Hundred Seas Rising is part of RELAY: Contemporary art in the South East of England commissioned in response to London 2012. A partnership project between: Aspex, Portsmouth; Space, Creative and Cultural Industries Faculty, University of Portsmouth; and Quay Arts, Isle of Wight. It is funded by TPSE (Turning Point South East), Arts Council England, Portsmouth City Council, University of Portsmouth and is part-funded by the European Union.