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Janet Chan

Janet Chan is an emerging installation, video, and fiber artist who has exhibited in venues such as the Hong Kong Design Institute and the Hong Kong Baptist University. While her portfolio currently remains small in number, the production values and level of professionalism in the works are top tier. Janet is a young and somewhat recent graduate from the Academy of Visual Arts who offers a promising body of work which explores the fine details of everyday life. 

With an interest in astronomy and nature, Janet explores topics through abstractions represented with embroidery, representations of nature in stormy landscapes, and even observations of gravitational forces of water being pulled by the moon. 

Janet’s most recent work titled Remembering to Forget (top of article) involves video art of static scenes of an undefined landscape which could be seen as a foggy beach, swamp, or forest. The grain and electrical interference remains so intense in a manner of which the viewer may have a difficult time discerning if the landscape contains cover of fog or being affected by a lightning storm. An extremely unfamiliar scenery reminiscent of the stormy night introduction production of the video game Morrowind, where a narrator offers a grim warning about the need to trek to the dark and mysterious lands despite danger and deceit ahead. The main difference being Janet’s approach comes from a combination as a realm of fine art, poetic ambiguity, and electrical interference. As the video plays, the viewer journeys through trees speeding past by our eyes in a dizzying spin combined with alterations in radio-frequency. The eerie minimalist text communicates that “things are the tears…like the confetti…for a moment…for time” moving on to “and you will find out…the words are fading”. Such poetry means to convey the urgent need to appreciate your space and surroundings, because how much can memory and documentation serve us? 

Moon over Moon (pictured above and below) remains an installation embroidery piece and accompanying work of video art which conveys the metaphor of ruminating about a lover. The installation piece contains two pillar-like forms which could indicate a couple while the circle of embroidery to the right side could symbolize affection as if the heart of the artwork. As we explore the video, the viewer remains guided through motions of circular and colorful embroidery as if being massaged and pressed upon the screen by a machine. Janet may be using the colors of yellow, blue, and white as personal colors of intimacy while the study in texture of the fiber has us analyze details of surface. What remains unclear would be how texture and surface relate to love, however perhaps such mysteries are best left unanswered or to reflect upon over time. 

Janet Chan engages the viewer with intellectual stimulation and a knack for conveying mysterious and ambiguous environmental spaces to prospect. With a diverse practice in multi-medium approaches, she challenges us to think deeply about the fine details of our sensory experiences. We will be studying her work closely in the years ahead with curiosity as to where these concepts will lead to, like a storyteller, Janet presents herself as a dynamic communicator of awareness and observation.


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