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Collective Disquiet


Michelle Kuen Suet Fung

IG: @michelleksfung  

FB: Michelle Kuen Suet Fung 

Fung's ongoing (since 2015) oeuvre revolves around a grand narrative of a dystopian world set in  the year 2084. She weaves acute observations of the early twenty-first century into an absurd,  fantastical landscape populated with plastic-eating humans, flying elephants, and islands floating in  the sky. Her works present a fictional geopolitical map of a bizarre future, one impacted by changes in the Anthropocene. Fung’s works span a broad range of media including text, books, drawing,  painting, printmaking, installation, performances and animated short films.  

She has an upcoming solo exhibition at the municipal museum Art Gallery Boris Georgiev, Varna,  Bulgaria, as the invited guest artist of the Quarantine Film Festival (2021) and has held recent solo  exhibitions at leading artist-run galleries in Australia (2019) and California (2018,) as well as the  Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (2019.) Her works have received many awards  including Film that Matters, the Montreal International Animation Film Festival, Canada (2019), 50 Best Books for Secondary Students, Hong Kong Professional Teacher's Union (2018), winner of  Young Writer's Debut Competition, Hong Kong (2017), the Grotto Award, Hong Kong Baptist  University (2015) and Award of Excellence, Fourth Greater China Illustration Awards (2012 and  2016.)

Artist Statement:


My ongoing oeuvre revolves around building a futuristic world of the year 2084. There are five  imaginary countries in total: Contradictoria, the Aristocratic Union, Dreamland, Northlandia and the Republic of Strata. These five micro-narratives will eventually weave together a grand narrative of  year 2084, portraying my imagined futuristic geopolitical world in the Anthropocene.  

For this exhibition, I selected a video documentation of Polluta Entry Interview Performance, where participants answer absurd political and environmental interview questions to earn residency at the  utopian artist colony, Polluta. Even though the work was conceived in 2015, the work echoed  strongly with the Californian audiences in 2018 in the heat of Mexico/US barrier. In 2020, the idea  of inclusion/exclusion still rings strong in the American psyche in the wake of the Black Life  Matters movement.  

The imaginary futuristic narrative is informed and shaped by global sociopolitical and  environmental development in real time. In 2018, I created my first imaginary map of 2084. even  though the work was aesthetically successful, I was discontent with the result. Unsurprising since  the narratives of all five imaginary countries had yet been fleshed out. It was impossible for  accurate depiction geographic features and each country's geographic location in relation to one  another. I plan to create an updated map every few years, reflecting realtime changes. 

The second map, edition year 2020, is informed by both the tradition of antique Chinese maps that look more akin to landscape paintings than accurate navigating tools and by the ancient Chinese  myth on the plague demons. Plagues were a regular occurrence in ancient China. People did not  understand medicine and attributed the diseases to the Demons of the Plague. They conjured up the  Great Gods Against the Plague to "fight" against the demons, sending the Gods, along with the  demons, away on lavishly decorated boats. There are still active annual rituals to drive away the  demons of the plague in Hong Kong, China and Taiwan.

Gods VS Demons

Gods VS Demons

Mixed media on paper (colour pencils, ink, markers and posca pens) 26 x 40 inches 2020

The Imaginary Map of 2084

The Imaginary Map of 2084

Mixed Media on Cloud-dragon handmade paper (Chinese ink, ink, Japanese pigment, charcoal, markers and colour pencils) 18 x 48 inches 2018

Polluta Entry Interview Performance

Polluta Entry Interview Performance

Opening Performance, Pro Arts Gallery, Oakland, CA, USA Medium: Questions, answers and wit (June 2018) (Video courtesy of Pro Arts Gallery, CA, USA)

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