Vienne Chan (Berlin, Germany)

“There is a certainty that can be found in subjective experience that cannot be articulated, for the most intense experiences cannot be sufficiently expressed in words due to the variegated nature of human experience. In clinical practices, physicians are trained to observe a patient’s non-verbal gestures when measuring their pain level because a patient’s verbal description of his or her pain is considered as unreliable, despite the seductive clarity which language seems to offer. The physician must find the patient’s experience from a multi-dimensional perspective and find a bridge that connects his knowledge to the patient’s experience. In that interaction, the physician begins to understand the issue; the physician may not know the issue itself for it is not his experience, but there is now a more accurate way to relate to the patient meaningfully before responding, a dexterity for unspoken truths.  In a similar vein, that is what I hope to do with my work. Through a process of observation, I try to find what is not mine and through various techniques connect myself to the other’s experience. Through creating videos of different forms, I want to interact with our surroundings, the spaces that in various degrees determine our actions to form reality, to find a feeling between myself and the spaces that can determine me.

My work is a private language that mutates with each audience; it does not fit into a schema of symbolism or a clarity that simplifies complexity for the sake of efficient communication. My work is my relationship with that which is external to me, and when presented to an audience, I hope that my work, by being an experience, becomes a meaningful mediator between the audience and a reality that is not theirs.”

Vienne was born in 1980 in Hong Kong, and currently lives and works in Berlin, Germany, and Montreal, Canada.  Her project TRAUM, which she filmed at the Berlin Zoo, screened as part of The NOMAD Project’s debut, October 2010 at Access & PARADOX Open Art Fair, in Paris.  Additionally, Vienne’s projects SELVAGE and THE MAGIC FLUTE are part of The NOMAD Archive.

Vienne is currently mentoring Project Green participants Ms. Giang Nguyen, Ms. Hoa Le, Ms. Hieu Nguyen and Ms. Le Tran, of Action Center for City Development (Ha Noi, Vietnam), on matters related to the production of THE STORY OF PHUC TAN.


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