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Exhibition | Suki Chan: Lucida II & III

Open Monday – Friday, 10:00 – 18:00

Free entry

Asia House is delighted to present Hong-Kong born artist Suki Chan’s Lucida II & III. Chan’s Lucida project exposes the curious and complex relationship between the human eye, the brain and vision.

Lucida II & III are fully interactive works and visitors will be able to immerse themselves in the project through the use of eye-tracking technology. The moving image installations invite the audience to participate and make the surprising discovery that their gaze can change what they see and hear. Lucida II & III will reveal to the audience their own rapid eye movements, something that we are normally unaware of, as well as how we see with our central and peripheral vision.

Chan became intrigued by how our eyes receive images upside down and yet the brain interprets them the right way up when she began to use the centuries-old, camera obscura.  The 5th Century Chinese philosopher Mozi [Mo Tse] (470BC) first described the basic principles behind the concept of camera obscura around the same time as Aristotle made detailed optical descriptions of the pin-hole camera. Mozi noticed light entering through a pinhole into a dark room and recorded the image created by the light rays. He refers to this finding as a “collecting place” or a “locked treasure room.”

Using the camera obscura as a metaphor for vision, Chan learned that the mechanisms of our visual perception mean that at any given moment we actually see much less than we perceive. Our everyday experience of seeing the world with ‘photographic’ detail is, in a certain sense, an illusion.

Says Chan: ”The more I investigated perception and how the brain processes information, the more miraculous and incredible it became: how impoverished and compressed information received via our senses can yield a coherent, high resolution, detailed and multi-dimensional world.”

Lucida is Chan’s most ambitious and technically challenging work to date, presenting developing scientific theories about human perception through a mesmerising cinematic experience. Chan regards her moving-image projects as installations as much as films, transforming the space and atmosphere into which the viewer enters. The artist’s practice combines light, the moving image and sound to explore our physical and psychological experience of time and space, and her moving image works are notable for their dream-like aesthetic. Shifting between the micro and the macro, she draws the viewer into a cinematic ‘elsewhere’.

To create the Lucida project, Chan was supported by a Wellcome Trust Small Arts Award, to enable her to collaborate with ophthalmologists, neurobiologists, vision scientists and psychologists – and in particular has had the collaboration of vision scientist Colin Blakemore of the school of Advanced Study London, who leads Rethinking the Senses, a major grant project of the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

Alongside the scientific framework, Chan interpolates personal narratives, such as the experience of someone who became an artist after losing their sight. The work has a haunting soundtrack composed by Dominik Scherrer, the winner of the 2014 Ivor Novello Award.

Co-curated with the Artist, Suki Chan, and Pamela Kember.

The project is open to school group visits – for more details, please contact Pamela.Kember@asiahouse.co.uk


About Suki Chan:

Suki Chan was born in Hong Kong and lives and works in London. Chan studied at Goldsmiths University of London and Chelsea School of Art.

Her film Interval II (2008), commissioned by the Chinese Arts Centre, supported by Film London, has been widely shown in the UK. Chan’s film Sleep Walk Sleep Talk, commissioned by Film & Video Umbrella was shown at the Canary Wharf Screen as part of Art on the Underground and FVU’s ‘The City in the City’ programme (2012), and was also exhibited at A Foundation, London; New Art Exchange, Nottingham; and Hiroshima Museum of Contemporary Art, Japan. Chan was commissioned to make an installation that accompanied the Dickens in London exhibition at the Museum of London (2011 –  2012). Her films Interval II and Istanbul were presented at The Wapping Project in Undiscovered Landscapes in 2012. Also in 2012 Chan completed A Hundred Seas Rising, a major commission from Aspex Gallery in Portsmouth investigating ideas about revolution.

More recently Chan’s moving image work Still Point has screened at The Lightbox, Woking; the Whitechapel Art Gallery; and the Dr. Bhau Daji Museum, Mumbai, India; Still Point toured the UK as part of FVU’s A Light Shines in Darkness – artists’ films screened in churches and cathedrals. Chan’s film Obscura was part of Tintype’s ACE supported Essex Road programme (2014/15).


Lucida is supported by the Wellcome Trust Small Arts Awards, University of Salford Art Collection and Arts Council England. The project was commissioned by the University of Salford Art Collection and the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art (CFCCA) in partnership with the Centre for the Study of the Senses, University of London and Tintype.

Lucida is a touring exhibition first shown at Tintype who represents the artist; the CFCCA in Manchester in 2017, and will be at Asia House, London from June 14-30 2017. Lucida III has been commissioned by the Science Gallery Dublin where it was exhibited as part of Seeing (24 June – 22 October 2016) and is currently showing at Frost Science Museum, Miami, US (until 20 Oct 2017).

Asia House Gallery
Private View: Tuesday June 13 18:00 – 20:00

Symposium: Thursday June 29 15:00 – 18:00

The symposium is followed by a drinks reception, 18:00 – 19:00

Asia House Arts Members need to enter their unique membership number when booking online. This can be found on the back of your membership card. Please call 0207 307 5454 if you experience any issues booking tickets.


June 14, 2017
June 30, 2017
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Asia House
63 New Cavendish St W1G 7LP United Kingdom
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