By way of introduction:
My name is Susan Pei San Lok. Susan P-E-I, S-A-N, two words, no hyphen, Lok, L-O-K. Or Lok Pei San. Or Susan, Lok Pei San. Or Susan Lok. Or Susie, Sue, but usually Su - without an 'e' - Lok. Or Susan Pui San Lok - Pui San - two words, P-U-I, S-A-N. Or Susan, Lok Pui-hyphen-San. Or Susan Puisan - one word, no hyphen - Lok. Or Susan, Lok Puisan.

A brief pre / history:
(I am?) a British (-born-girl-woman-) subject who speaks in a Chinese-inflected-English, an Essex-accented-Cantonese, retrieving occasionally her once-good French, decidedly poor German, and mostly-forgotten Latin; a ghost / bamboo child of Hong Kong emigrants, sister-niece-cousin to close-distant family, grand-daughter of a Malaysian-born grand-daughter, of a woman un-named to me, betrothed at three to a boy-husband in South China.

Recurring scenes:
1. Dates, names, a photographic record of a marriage ceremony in a Hong Kong village, circa 1959;
2. Dialogues from a contemporaneous English - Chinese language textbook;
3. Ink and paint marks;
4. Mirrors;
5. Paper strips from ceiling to floor, a series of loose scored rectangles, the ends unravelled.
6. Voices speaking in / between / about two languages, from disparate places.

susan pui san lok

monumental bargain (detail), 1998

see other works:un-, 1996
witness, 1998
97 proofs, 1998
unravelling, 1995
untitled (tree), 1998
untitled (walls have ears), 1998

Mediating and mediated by made and / or found objects and images, text and sound, I seek to reconfigure these as traces and tracings of presence / absence / passage, across dispersed sites. I multiply, fragment, retouch and juxtapose, playing on notions of 'coherence', 'authenticity' and 'truth', looking for fissures. I am interested in the opacity of language, the tensions between different modes of discourse, and the difficult 'infidelities' necessary to the processes of translation / representation in which I am engaged. Along the way, I mean to interrogate the notions of 'British-ness', 'Chinese-ness', 'femininity' and 'ethnicity' by which History preconcieves and excludes me; to play the perpetual 'foreigner', neither here nor there, imagining an ambiguous, multiple, and contradictory space in diaspora.