Susan Pui San Lok

Susan Pui San Lok predominantly seeks to explore possibilities for a critical aesthetics and poetics of place, and questions of nostalgia, aspiration, cultivation, and translation, in diaspora. Working across installation, moving image, sound, performance and text, Lok examines these inherent human traits and develops moving image dialogues. These journeys often place her in collaboration with dancers, choreographers, composers, and archivists. Even athletes were featured in Lightness, which follows a pole-vaulting woman training for competition. Aspiration, competition, professionalism versus amateurism, and human endeavor are all clearly explored, and Lok seems to enlighten our understanding of these often merely accepted or expected traits and trends in modern human behavior, and perhaps hold us accountable for these progressions. The works are therefore evidently experimental, research-driven and highly interdisciplinary, as well as collaborative.

 

Many of these ideas are pushed forward, alongside themes of nostalgia and the archival in Faster, Higher. This five-screen work pulls together montages from the Olympic archive and rare Chinese documentaries that suggest cultural rhetoric, discuss the global branding of the Olympics, and resonances between notions of nation and sport, patriotism and physical endeavour. The rather strange rituals and symbols present throughout the games and its ceremonies, as well as those of individual nations are highlighted and explored, and Lok again holds entire generations accountable for their seemingly normal, but technically abstract, acts and rituals.

 

Susan Pui San Lok holds a BA in Fine Art and an MA in Feminism & the Visual Arts from the University of Leeds, as well as a PhD in Fine Art from the University of East London.