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Jun 17 2021

Hong Kong Reveals 2022 Venice Biennale Representative

by Gabrielle Tse

Portraits of (from left to right) FREYA CHOU and ANGELA SU. Courtesy the curator, the artist, and Blindspot Gallery, Hong Kong.

On June 16, M+ museum and the Hong Kong Arts Development Council (HKADC) named Angela Su the Hong Kong representative for the 59th Venice Biennale, which is slated to open on April 23, 2022. Su will be working with Freya Chou, the appointed curator, to develop the presentation in the coming months. 

Born in Hong Kong, Su graduated with a degree in biochemistry from the University of Toronto in 1990 before acquiring her visual arts degree at the Ontario College of Art and Design University in 1994. Her research-based works—spanning drawings, animations, and performances—explore imaginations of the body. Her series of meticulous ink paintings Rorschach Test (2016), for example, depicts hybrid forms melding human organs, plants, and machines. The images are rendered in a style that recalls medical illustrations, while preserving the symmetry of the titular psychological, ink-blot tests, and investigate the relationship between body and mind. Su expressed that it is a “deep honour” to represent her hometown, and added, “It is particularly meaningful to me to show in Venice having lived through these turbulent years in Hong Kong, and to connect with a global audience through my participation in the international Biennale.” 

Active since the early 2000s, Su has participated in numerous international exhibitions including “So long, thanks again for the fish” (2021) at the Levyhalli hall in Suomenlinna, Helsinki, and “Artists’ Film International 2019” at London’s Whitechapel Gallery. Su was also commissioned by Wellcome Trust to create a new project for “Contagious Cities: Far Away, Too Close” at Hong Kong’s Tai Kwun in 2019.

A Hong Kong-based curator and writer, Chou was on the curatorial team for the Taipei Biennial in 2008 and 2010, and served as co-curator of the tenth Shanghai Biennial in 2014, before working as a curator for Para Site from 2015 to 2019, where she curated numerous shows, including a duo exhibition by Chris Evans and Pak Sheung Chuen. 

Su’s upcoming project marks the fifth Hong Kong event co-organized by M+ and the HKADC at the Venice Biennale, following the solo presentations of Lee Kit in 2013, Tsang Kin-Wah in 2015, Samson Young in 2017, and Shirley Tse in 2019. Throughout the Biennale, M+ and the HKADC will also launch a series of public programs in Hong Kong, leading up to the return of Su’s exhibition at M+ museum in 2023.

Gabrielle Tse is an editorial intern at ArtAsiaPacific.

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