Vienne Chan - One more cliché for performance art!

1:14, 2011, Video Art
Let’s watch each other over the internet under Christopher’s burden.

I am interested in the role of pain and shock in performance art, and whether the degree of suffering involved can affect our perception of artistic “authenticity.” What are the implications - artistic and ethical - for the future of performance art behind previously set levels of pain, such as in Chris Burden’s landmark piece, "Shoot"?
DirectorVienne ChanProducerVienne ChanCameraVienne ChanEditorVienne Chan

CountryHong KongEdition2009

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Who is Vienne Chan?
I am an artist. It took me a while to say that.

Your film is about?
Visceral experiences in art. And the special role suffering seems to have in performance art.

How did you start with film? And do you have an educational background in art or film?
Although I didn’t go to art school, art was always something I wanted to do. In 2006, I started playing with a camcorder that I got as a gift and taught myself video-making at home in between writing papers for my degree in the philosophy of religion.

Could you explain how you work, what themes or concepts and what is important to you?
I am very spontaneous and usually work on my own. I like to think that I keep an open mind so there isn’t a particular theme that is important to my work, rather I see myself has having a particular approach, a method of interpretation to what goes on around me. As for what that approach is, it is based on a quiet observation of the intrigue we can find around us if we pay more attention.
I’m not really a good listener, but I still want to listen.

Or it might just be that I am an introvert who has taken refuge behind the camera. Whatever the case, making video makes me feel more engaged with the world and that’s why I keep making them, and that’s what is important to me.

Where do you get your ideas or influences from?
Whatever might be happening around me. Doodling. Thinking.

How does the title relate to the work, and how do you find a fitting title?
It’s just a comment, with a little bit of sarcasm.
I have a difficult time with titles, usually they are the last thing I put onto the video. There isn’t a method. When the video starts coming together, some words just start to seem more right than others. Although for some reason I tend to come up with them in the shower.

How do you finance your projects (by yourself, sponsors or subsidy)?
Out of my own pocket.

Nowadays everyone with the right equipment can create videoart, good, bad or ugly?
Anyone with limbs can dance – good, bad or ugly?

In what category would you place your work; cinema or art. And is there a difference between those?
Art. Yes there is a difference.

How important is the reaction to your film by the audience?
I will continue to make videos regardless of the audience’s reaction, but when I can move the audience, there is an incomparable satisfaction.

What is your next project about?
Hard to say because I like to be spontaneous, although the subjects of silence and ritual are some things I have been thinking about alot lately.

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