Independent Light
Sculpture, 2 stainless steel bowls, light bulb
© Su-Chen Hung, 1992

Statement · Biography · Bibliography

Artist Statement
Su-Chen Hung

In my work as an artist, I have used a variety of media such as film, video and photography in installation and performance to express the cultural duality that I experience. The installations I design are often interactive. The viewer acts as performer in my work, both completing and bringing it to artistic life. I work with light, space, sound, movement and stillness. The nuance of movement and the passage of time are always my concern. My growth as an artist is dependent upon my continuing to explore aspects of culture and elements that comprise the beauty around us, thematically focusing on multi-cultural and environmental concerns. I have been working on various site-specific installations that integrate my work into public spaces.

East/West
Videotape (based on artist's US citizenship interview)
© Su-Chen Hung, 1984/1987

Biography

Su-Chen Hung was born in Kaohsiung City, Taiwan and graduated from the Sociology Department of Tunghai University in 1974. Two years later, she moved to the United States. She is currently living in San Francisco.

Hung received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in photography from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1981 and a Master of Fine Arts degree in filmmaking in 1985.

Hung's work often focuses on the differences between the cultures she has known. Leaving Taiwan because it was "small, confining and too defined," she saw America as an ocean waiting to be plunged into. With every intention of making her way to New York to join her sisters who had come before her, Hung stepped onto San Francisco soil and, to quote her, "the journey ended there." She now possesses dual citizenship, and is constantly exploring the meanings of this in her work. For one of her video works, East/West, she used a split screen to divide her mouth into two vertical halves; one side of the mouth moves in the Mandarin Chinese language, while the other speaks in English. As Hung herself noted, most of the time the differences between the languages prevented the lips from moving in unison. But, for brief moments, the two images would come together. This is clearly how Hung views her biculturalism.

She has shown her work in the States, Europe and Japan, but her adopted city, San Francisco, is still home. "My definition of the word 'home' has changed over the years. I never felt I belonged in Taiwan, and I eventually went back to find out why. And now, even though I have found the place where I do belong, I realize I'll always consider Taiwan my home because it's where I began. It's who I am." Ultimately, home is "anywhere I go now, because I take all of this with me."

Since 1984, she has completed over three dozen installations for museums and galleries ranging from the San Francisco Bay Area to her native Taiwan. Hung is participating in several permanent public art projects, including the San Francisco New International Airport, the San Francisco North Beach Public Parking Garage, and the 23rd Avenue Wastewater Treatment Plant in Phoenix, Arizona. During 1998 she was artist in residence at the Exploratorium, a San Francisco museum of science, art, and perception, where she is developing an exhibit on memory, specifically memory as an experience of cultural immigrants. In 1997 she was the recipient of the McKnight first national interdisciplinary fellowship in Minnesota.

Statement · Biography · Bibliography


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All images and text © Su-Chen Hung.