• Issue
  • May 01, 2023

Up Close: Vaevae Chan

Installation view of VAEVAE CHAN’s “She Told Me to Head to the Sea” at Juen Juen Gung, Hong Kong, 2023. Courtesy Juen Juen Gung.

In the three years after her father’s sudden death and her home city’s historic sociopolitical unrest, Vaevae Chan built a cave to hide herself away. Now the artist has invited others to visit her refuge. To locate it, I journeyed to the 17th floor of an industrial building in Hong Kong’s San Po Kong neighborhood where I was faced with four identical gray doors. Entering through one, I was enveloped in darkness, my eyes adjusting as my fingers traced rough stones lining the entrance. The artificial rocks were light and hollow but I allowed myself to collapse into the illusion of their density and concreteness. On top of the crevices were perched black-painted figurines and vessels—pitches, vases, ashtrays—a nod to the artist’s training in clay.

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