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SAR, China

Angela Su Biography

Angela Su is a multi-disciplinary artist based in Hong Kong. Su graduated from the University of Toronto with a biochemistry degree in 1990 and The Ontario College of Art and Design University with a degree in visual arts in 1994. She works in a wide range of media, creating ink drawings, human hair embroideries, performances, videos and animations. In Paracelsus' Garden, which comprises meticulous Victorian medical illustrations of the human body, insects and plants, she shows a fine blend of her biochemistry training and artisanal skill.

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Attracted by biotechnology and the idea of the 'post-human', Su started combining the imagery of bodies and machinery. These hybrids have come to be what she is best known for. In 2011 Su exhibited these works in her solo show, BwO, at Grotto Fine Art. The title of the show referred to a 'Body without Organs', an idea introduced by Gilles Deleuze to describe a virtual body without stable structures. The works show drawings of torture machines, human flesh and organs, executed in monochromatic black ink and pastel on drafting film, resembling illustrations in an ancient anatomy book. Similar motifs also appeared in IN BERTY WE TRUST! (2013)—an exhibition at Gallery EXIT that consisted of a science fiction novel, a set of ink illustrations and an animation of a machine/body hybrid.

Su further explores body and machine in terms of considering the interaction between body and mind. In the exhibition The Afterlife of Rosy Leavers (2017) Su showcased a series of her research-based works on mental illness and social control. One of the works, A Reminder to Myself (2017), showed a set of eight poster banners combining borrowed texts, found images and slogans from the German militant activist Socialists' Patients Collective, whose call is to 'turn illness into a weapon'. The research-based work tells of the struggles and resistance of different individuals against the established system. Interweaving concepts such as hallucination, doppelgängers, virtual reality and artificial intelligence, the exhibition demonstrated the artist's self-reflective journey to dissect her own state of mind and investigate the limit of mind-body duality.

Su also explores art and ideas through her performance work. In the video One Woman Apartment (2008), Su tells of her experience and thoughts on a project in which she attempted to work for a day as a sex worker in Shum Shui Po—a district in Hong Kong known for its thriving sex industry. Another powerful performance-based video work, The Hartford Girl and Other Stories (2012), shows the process of creating a complex, inkless tattoo composed of 39 lines of prayer on Su's body, exploring her inclination to tolerate pain and torture. In both of these works Su considers her dual states of being when under physical endangerment or distress.

Su's work has been exhibited in the 17th Biennale of Sydney (2010), CAFA Art Museum in Beijing, National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Seoul, the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Whitechapel Gallery and Saatchi Gallery in London. Her works are held in the collection of M+ in Hong Kong and CAFA Art Museum in Beijing.

Kennis Lai | Ocula | 2018

Angela Su Featured Artworks

Dr Trepan’s Surgical Instrument No. 4 by Angela Su contemporary artwork
Angela SuDr Trepan’s Surgical Instrument No. 4Ink on drafting film
75 x 45 cm
Not for sale

Angela Su Recent Exhibitions

Contemporary art exhibition, Group Show, An Opera for Animals at Para Site, Hong Kong
22 June–25 August 2019 Group Show An Opera for Animals Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, An Opera for Animals at Para Site, Hong Kong
23 March–2 June 2019 Group Exhibition An Opera for Animals Para Site, Hong Kong
Contemporary art exhibition, Group show, FRAMED: AI WEIWEI AND HONG KONG ARTISTS at Duddell's, Hong Kong
5 November 2013–7 February 2014 Group show FRAMED: AI WEIWEI AND HONG KONG ARTISTS Duddell's, Hong Kong

Angela Su In Ocula Magazine

Holy Mosses: Queer Eco-Aesthetics at Blindspot Gallery, Hong Kong Ocula Insight Holy Mosses: Queer Eco-Aesthetics at Blindspot Gallery, Hong Kong By Emily Verla Bovino, Hong Kong

Holy Mosses, the title of an eight-artist exhibition curated by Nick Yu at Hong Kong 's Blindspot Gallery, is a playful misspelling of 'Holy Moses', the gospel-inflected exclamation from Elton John's 'Border Song' (1970) made famous by Aretha Franklin's cover from 1972. 'Holy Moses, I have been removed', the song's first verse pronounces. It...

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‘An Opera for Animals’ at Rockbund Art Museum Ocula Report ‘An Opera for Animals’ at Rockbund Art Museum By Penny Liu, Shanghai

An Opera for Animals was first staged at Para Site in Hong Kong between 23 March and 2 June 2019, with works by over 48 artists and collectives that use opera as a metaphor for modes of contemporary, cross-disciplinary art-making. The exhibition's second iteration takes up a large portion of the Rockbund Art Museum (RAM) in Shanghai (22...

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Angela Su In Related Press

Preview: 6 highlights from Asia Now art fair, Paris Related Press Preview: 6 highlights from Asia Now art fair, Paris 19 October 2016, Art Radar Journal

The Parisian edition of Asia Now, 20 – 23 October 2016, intends to create a France-based platform for commercial and 'intellectual exchange' for the Asia-pacific arts community. Art Radar previews 6 must sees and speaks to Director Alexandra Fain about the fair in its second edition as well as curator Magda Danysz about the special...

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Interview with Angela Su Related Press Interview with Angela Su 7 October 2016, Artomity Magazine

Hong Kong artist Angela Su shares the thinking behind her work with Caroline Ha Thuc You are well known for your ink drawings featuring strange creatures that combine human and animal elements. Do these creatures reflect your vision of contemporary humanity? Angela Su: Probably. I contemplate how human beings can exist alternatively. With...

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With a clinical view, Hong Kong art show challenges how we see our bodies Related Press With a clinical view, Hong Kong art show challenges how we see our bodies 16 December 2015, South China Morning Post

Blindspot Gallery’s new exhibition features works by seven artists who have used very different media to tackle the same issue: how do you use art to break down hardened social norms about the human body? A clinical, detached air runs through the first part of a show that parodies the objectification of bodies. On arrival, visitors are...

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