陳靄媛 
MEL CHAN

(Hong Kong/the Netherlands)

me2.jpg

Born in a former colony (Hong Kong) of the British Empire, grew up witnessing the paradigm shift (from neoliberalism to totalitarianism to ecological crisis) and lives as a diaspora in western Europe (the Netherlands), “The End of the World” for Mel Chan is much more than a metaphor -- it is a painful fact that we need to embrace, a “trouble” that we need to stay with (as Donna Haraway advocates).
 

 

Her artistic research traces the intricate relations between our dystopian situation and the legacies of Colonialism and (Neo)Colonialism. Encompassing participatory performances, hypnotherapy, storytelling, painting and video, her practices not only guide people to live with the crisis, they are also acknowledgement of historical causation, as well as investigation of remedies and hopes in time of precarity.
 

 

Based in the Netherlands, she has exhibited/performed in various art spaces in Den Haag (1646, Quartair, Stroom, The Grey Space in the Middle, Page Not Found), Rotterdam (V2_), Amsterdam (De Balie, BigArt), Leiden (ACPA Conference), and Scotland (Hospitalfield), among others. She graduated from Master Artistic Research in The Royal Academy of Art The Hague (KABK) in 2019, and has a double major degree in Philosophy and Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong.

 

BIOGRAPHY

 

'My grandma was sixteen when she fled to Hong Kong, all alone. 

 

Her father passed away when she was two. Her family blamed it on her for bringing bad luck. She was not allowed to go to school, but had to carry her brother on her back to school. 

 

One time, she saw the ghost of her deceased father. The ghost was sorry for her situation. Another time, she fell from a tree but was not hurt at all. Only her jade bracelet was broken. She said the spirit of the jade bracelet had protected her.

 

She gave birth to five children. Only two survived. She burnt all photographs of grandpa, who abandoned his family and started another outside of wedlock. 

 

Mother said grandma was a gambler who did not care for home. 

 

I don’t know about that.

I only know her tenderness. 

 

She whispered in my ears some formless stories while patting me to sleep. "The shrimp borrowed the eyes of the earthworm and never returned. Dog barks. Ruff-ruff. Cat meowed. Meow-meow." And so I fell asleep, until ashes piled up in the joss paper burner, and new flame rose on the kerosene stove.'

 

 

EDUCATION

MFA (Distinction), Master of Artistic Research,
THE ROYAL ACADEMY OF ART, THE HAGUE


Bachelor of Arts, Philosophy and Comparative Literature (Double Major) THE UNIVERSITY OF HONG KONG

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SELECTED EXHIBITIONS


2022
MY GOALS ARE BIGGER THAN YOURS (Collaboration with David Ghelli
Santuliana), Cas-co, Leuven, Belgium.

 

2021
WHITE CHRYSANTHEMUMS AND PRINCE EDWARD|白菊與太子, SinArts Gallery, Den Haag, the Netherlands (SOLO EXHIBITION).

BIG ART, Hembrugterrein, Zaanstad, the Netherlands. 

ART ON PAPER, KunstRai, Amsterdam, the Netherlands. 

ART THE HAGUE, the Netherlands. 

2020
OPTIMISM OVER DESPAIR, Contemporary Art Weekend, Den Haag
IN TIMES OF CONFINEMENT, Sinarts Gallery, Den Haag, the Netherlands.
TAKING CARE OF THE SMALL ONES, Sinarts Gallery, Den Haag, the Netherlands.

 

2019

NASTY WOMEN, #team/Femke, De Balie, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

ACPA CONFERENCE: IS THIS THING ON? THE PUBLIC DIMENSIONS OF ARTISTIC RESEARCH: Academy of Creative and Performing Arts, Leiden University, The Netherlands. 

LOCATING ArtScience #2: Children of the Space (A Forest), Today's Art Festival, The Grey Space In The Middle, Den Haag, The Netherlands

SPECTER, V2_, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

BOOK LAUNCH of If A Tree Falls in a Forest, Page Not Found, Den Haag, The Netherlands 

BETTER AS A CHORUS, MA Artistic Research, KABK, Den Haag, The Netherlands

ABANDONED REALITIES, Evermore, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

I WAS MOSTLY DELIGHTED, BUT YES, ALSO A LITTLE BIT AFRAID, Quartair, Den Haag, The Netherlands

 

2018
ON-GOING CONVERSATIONS #5, 1646, Den Haag, The Netherlands
THE REVERSE OB-SERVANT, Hospitalfield, Arbroath, Scotland
RISE, Quartair, The Hague, The Netherlands
RANDOM COLLECTIVE, Stroom, The Hague, The Netherlands


2017
THE ARTIST WILL BE DRUNK, Jimz Pub/KABK MAR, The Hague, The Netherlands