We use cookies on this website, you can read about them here. To use the website as intended please... ACCEPT COOKIES
UAL Research Online


lok, susan pui san (2023) Centenary. In: Speaking Nearby, 22 July 2023, esea contemporary, Manchester.

Type of Research: Conference, Symposium or Workshop Item
Creators: lok, susan pui san

'Speaking Nearby' was an afternoon of screenings, sound works and artist talks that explored the politics and poetics of voice, featuring work by three artists: susan pui san lok’s sound installation ‘Centenary’ (2022), Ho Rui An’s video work ‘24 Cinematic Points of View of a Factory Gate in China’ (2023), and several pieces in Dinu Li’s solo exhibition ‘A Phantom’s Vibe’.

What does it mean to ‘have’ a voice? How might the use of ‘indirect’ speech, oral narratives, music and poetic language sound out unheard and underrepresented histories of migration, labour and community? These questions are especially resonant when considering the stereotype of East and Southeast Asian-identifying people in the UK and elsewhere as a ‘silent’, ‘invisible’, ‘model minority’ – rarely seen and heard in public and political life, but no less subject to racial discrimination and violence, as evidenced most recently by the rise in hate crimes following the outbreak of the Covid-19 global pandemic.

Such senseless acts of violence call for affected communities to speak ‘out’, ‘against’ or ‘about’ these issues from a position of authority and agency. Yet, as the Vietnamese American filmmaker and theorist Trinh T. Minh-ha remarked, ‘truth never yields itself in anything said or shown.’ To this end, she proposed ‘speaking nearby’ as an alternative means of voicing marginalised histories and experience. In her words, ‘speaking nearby’ infers a ‘speaking that does not objectify, does not point to an object as if it is distant from the speaking subject of absent from the speaking place. A speaking that reflects on itself and can come very close to the subject without, however, seizing or claiming it.’

This event was organised by Dr Wenny Teo (Senior Lecturer in Modern and Contemporary Art, The Courtauld Institute of Art), Xiaowen Zhu (Director, esea contemporary) and Dot Zhihan Jia (Associate Curator, esea contemporary), in collaboration with The Courtauld Institute of Art.

Official Website: https://www.eseacontemporary.org/events/speaking-nearby#:~:text=In%20her%20words%2C%20'speaking%20nearby,however%2C%20seizing%20or%20claiming%20it.
Your affiliations with UAL: Research Centres/Networks > Decolonising Arts Institute
Date: 22 July 2023
Funders: Courtauld Institute of Art
Related Websites: https://soundcloud.com/susanpuisanlok/sets/centenary-2022?utm_source=clipboard&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=social_sharing, https://www.becontreeforever.uk, https://www.becontreeforever.uk/projects/centenary, https://createlondon.org/event/the-becontree-centenary/, https://createlondon.org/event/susan-pui-san-lok/, https://www.mixcloud.com/Resonance/clear-spot-1-july-2022-centenary-rewindreplay-by-susan-pui-san-lok/
Related Websites:
Related Exhibitions: Becontree Forever
Event Location: esea contemporary, Manchester
Locations / Venues:
LocationFrom DateTo Date
Resonance Radio1 July 2022
esea Contemporary22 July 202329 October 2023
Material/Media: Stereo / multichannel soundwork and long poem
Measurements or Duration of item: 34 minutes
Date Deposited: 01 Nov 2023 15:36
Last Modified: 09 Nov 2023 04:47
Item ID: 20713
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/20713

Repository Staff Only: item control page | University Staff: Request a correction