Golden, Diaspora Pavilion, Venice

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susan pui san lok, Untitled (Pavilion), 2017, installation with shimmer curtain and lighting filter. Installation views, featuring Hew Locke, On the Tethys Sea, 2017, and Erika Tan, The ‘Forgotten’ Weaver, 2017. All images © the artist

Golden (2005-) is an ongoing project comprising works across video, audio, installation, performance and text, made between Hong Kong, London and San Francisco. Variously referencing ballroom dancing, allotment tending, Cantonese opera and pop, Golden explores nostalgia, cultivation and aspiration as vehicles for inscribing, re-writing, performing, disrupting and mis/translating subjectivity, memory and territory.

For the Diaspora Pavilion, coinciding with the 57th Venice Bienniale, the installation Untitled (Ballroom) (2006) is re-staged in two parts as Untitled (Pavilion) and Untitled (Shower) (2017). Untitled (Pavilion) fills the downstairs entrance with shimmering gold curtains, while Untitled (Shower) floods an upstairs bathroom. The immersive gold shimmer hangs from ceiling to floor, a joyous yet disorientating dream-space that glimmers and sways with the light and movement of bodies.

Untitled (Pavilion) and Untitled (Shower) are accompanied by two soundworks, Golden Hour (2006) and Songs I – VI (2005-17). Golden Hour offers a non-stop, makeshift medley of beginnings and endings, navigating the artist’s parents’ 1960s vinyl collection of ‘melodies for dancing and dreaming’ as an index of opening and closing bars. Songs I – VI play at intervals over each hour. Songs VI is the latest in a series of audio interludes ranging from a few seconds to a few minutes, in which the lyric ‘golden’ repeats and collides to produce condensed choruses at turns joyful, plaintive, and wistful.

Songs VI is based on fifty tracks nominated by participating artists and associated curators. Thanks to: Larry Achiampong, Kat Anderson, Barby Asante, Chi Bagtas, David A. Bailey, Adelaide Bannerman, Sokari Douglas Camp, Libita Clayton, Kimathi Donkor, Ellen Gallagher, Enam Gbewonyo, Nicola Green, Joy Gregory, Melanie Keen, Dave Lewis, Hew Locke, Gabria Lupone, Claire Oboussier, Vong Phaophanit, Khadija Saye, Sunil Shah, Erika Tan, Jessica Taylor, Barbara Walker, Abbas Zahedi. Songs VI is dedicated to the Diaspora Pavilion, and the memory of Khadija Saye.

Above: susan pui san lok, Golden Hour, 2006. 57′ 24″, looped
Above: susan pui san lok, Songs VI, 2017. 7′ 25″

susan pui san lok, Untitled (Pavilion) 2017, shimmer curtain, lighting filter, approx. 400cm x 500cm x 550cm
susan pui san lok, Untitled (Shower) 2017, shimmer curtain, lighting filter, approx. 300cm x 280cm x 260cm
susan pui san lok, Songs I-VI, 2005-2017, audio, various durations (hourly loop with intervals)
susan pui san lok, Golden Hour, 2006, audio, 57′ 24″ (looped)

Palazzo Pisani Santa Marina, Venice
13 May to 26 November 2017

Exhibiting artists: Larry Achiampong | Barby Asante | Sokari Douglas Camp | Libita Clayton | Kimathi Donkor | Michael Forbes | Ellen Gallagher | Nicola Green | Joy Gregory | Isaac Julien | Dave Lewis | Hew Locke | susan pui san lok | Paul Maheke | Khadija Saye | Yinka Shonibare MBE | Erika Tan | Barbara Walker | Abbas Zahedi

Image: Diaspora Pavilion, Palazzo Pisani Santa Marina, Venice.

Diaspora Pavilion is curated by David A Bailey and Jessica Taylor and presented by ICF (International Curators Forum) and University of the Arts London. Supported by Arts Council England’s International Showcasing Fund.

Download Diaspora Pavilion Guide