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Desperately Seeking Lauren:
Yeewan Koon in Conversation with Angela Su

Type: Talk
Language: Cantonese, English, Mandarin
Audience: Everyone
Location: The Forum

Desperately Seeking Lauren:
Yeewan Koon in Conversation with Angela Su

In response to her 2022 Venice Biennale presentation, Angela Su produced an installation of more than 400 items on loan from the archives of Lauren O at the Esalen Institute in California. However, very little is known about this enigmatic figure who was arguably involved in a 1967 plan to levitate the Pentagon in protest of the Vietnam War. Who is Lauren O? How is this obscure levitator from 1960s America relevant to the world that we live in today?

Su, together with Dr Yeewan Koon, who has conducted extensive research on Lauren O, will take a deep dive into the counterculture of the 1960s in the US. Their conversation will cover the confluence of social movements, psychedelics, supernatural and popularisation of technology that gave rise to a fascinating era of change and infinite possibilities. Through Lauren O’s cosmological views and her vision of the future, one could also make sense of Su’s own practice, in particular, her fascination with worldbuilding.

This talk will be conducted in English. Simultaneous interpretation in Cantonese and Mandarin will be available. Click on ‘Register’ to sign up for free. Participants can access General Admission exhibitions (excluding Special Exhibition) after the event. Please retain a copy of your registration to facilitate your entry to the galleries.

This talk is co-organised by M+ and Hong Kong Arts Development Council.

About the Speakers

Yeewan Koon is associate professor and chair of the Department of Art History at the University of Hong Kong, and a contributor to the publication Angela Su: The Magnificent Lives of Lauren O. Her other publications include A Defiant Brush: Su Renshan and the Politics of Painting in Early 19th Century Guangdong (2014), Yoshitomo Nara (2020), and Where Are We Now? M+ and the Uncertain Future of Hong Kong Art (2022). In 2021, Koon curated the exhibition So long, thanks again for the fish, which was part of the Inspired Programme of the inaugural Helsinki Biennale in Finland. In 2018, she was one of the selected curators for the 12th Gwangju Biennale and was guest curator of It Begins with Metamorphosis: Xu Bing at the Asia Society, Hong Kong Centre in 2014.

Portrait of Yeewan Koon. Photo: Courtesy of Tai Lam

Angela Su’s works investigate the perception and imagery of the body through processes of metamorphosis, hybridity, and transformation. Her research-based projects materialise into drawing, video, hair embroidery, and performative and installation works, which explore the interrelations between our state of being and the advancement of technology. Central to these projects are video essays and texts that weave together fact and fiction, and reality and fantasy. With a focus on the history of medical science, her works question dominant biomedical discourse and contemplate the impact of technology on the past, present, and future.

Portrait of Angela Su. Photo: Lok Cheng, M+, Hong Kong

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Established in 1995, HKADC is a statutory body set up by the Hong Kong Government. Its major roles include grant allocation, policy and planning, advocacy, promotion and development, and special projects. HKADC supports and promotes the development of ten major art forms in literary arts, performing arts, visual arts as well as film and media arts. It aims to foster a thriving arts environment by facilitating community-wide participation in the arts and art education, encouraging criticism, raising arts administration standards, and contributing on policy research.

Image at top: Angela Su. Documentation of performance The Magnificent Levitation Act of Lauren O, 2022. Commissioned by M+, 2022. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Ka Lam. Rigger: Avaem T Rika.