Suki Chan: Sleep Walk, Sleep Talk

Suki Chan, still from Sleep Walk, Sleep Talk

One person’s bustling metropolis is another person’s claustrophobic nightmare. One person’s tedious, solitary working condition is another’s personal escape and respite. A city as large and as densely populated as London is sure to be brimming with such varied experiences. There are the stories of those who have been there for generations, and of those who are newly arrived—having left stories behind elsewhere in search of a revised life tale. They all come together to make up the fast cars and slow people, the bankers and the bodyguards, the posh and the pained of the city. This urban dichotomy is what interests Hong Kong-born, London-based artist, Suki Chan in her video project Sleep Walk, Sleep Talk, on view through September 4th at New Art Exchange in Nottingham.

The 2-channel high-definition time-lapse video opens on an aerial view of light-trails of commuter cars and trains at twilight, with a science-fiction sounding background of industrial noises and quiet, disjointed narrative. Then it cuts to the dim, unflattering lighting of an empty office building, and the narrative of a Nigerian security guard talking with great pride about his duties on night-watch. He finds freedom in his perch above the city, behind the high rise’s glass shield. The video goes on to explore others’ experiences, capturing “the nuances at play in a city between the solid mass of its architecture and the fleeting movements of its urban inhabitants and the transportation system that revolves around them.” (source) Sleep Walk, Sleep Talk was commissioned by the Film and Video Umbrella. You can view a preview of the video here.

Suki Chan, still from Sleep Walk, Sleep Talk

Suki Chan was born in Hong Kong and lives and works in London. She graduated from Goldsmiths in 1999 and completed an MA in Fine Art at Chelsea School of Art in 2008. She has been included in several group shows in the UK, including at David Roberts Art Foundation, London and Shanghai Museum of Contemporary Art. In 2009, Chan was selected as one of six young British artists by Charles Saatchi to take part in the BBC’s School of Saatchi.