INTRODUCING
KAKIU CHAN

KaKiu Chan is a multidisciplinary Canadian-born artist, based in Hong Kong. Graduated in 2017 from the Chinese University of Hong Kong Fine Arts Department, she's had solo exhibitions at Hong Kong Art Basel in 2019 and Shanghai's Power Station of Art in 2018. In her work, she explores the mundane curiosities of daily life. We sat down with an interview with KaKiu to talk about life, 2021 so far and her work.

INTRODUCING
KAKIU CHAN

KaKiu Chan is a multidisciplinary Canadian-born artist, based in Hong Kong. Graduated in 2017 from the Chinese University of Hong Kong Fine Arts Department, she's had solo exhibitions at Hong Kong Art Basel in 2019 and Shanghai's Power Station of Art in 2018. In her work, she explores the mundane curiosities of daily life. We sat down with an interview with KaKiu to talk about life, 2021 so far and her work.

Introducing Kakiu Chan

INTRODUCING
KAKIU CHAN

KaKiu Chan is a multidisciplinary Canadian-born artist, based in Hong Kong. Graduated in 2017 from the Chinese University of Hong Kong Fine Arts Department, she's had solo exhibitions at Hong Kong Art Basel in 2019 and Shanghai's Power Station of Art in 2018. In her work, she explores the mundane curiosities of daily life. We sat down with an interview with KaKiu to talk about life, 2021 so far and her work.

INTRODUCING
KAKIU CHAN

KaKiu Chan is a multidisciplinary Canadian-born artist, based in Hong Kong. Graduated in 2017 from the Chinese University of Hong Kong Fine Arts Department, she's had solo exhibitions at Hong Kong Art Basel in 2019 and Shanghai's Power Station of Art in 2018. In her work, she explores the mundane curiosities of daily life. We sat down with an interview with KaKiu to talk about life, 2021 so far and her work.

Introducing Kakiu Chan
First off, how are you doing?

I am doing pretty good recently, working on my first artist’s book series. Have been editing poems and prose I wrote since college time and so many memories keep flashing back into my head, good or bad. As a person with really bad memory I feel almost this is almost a brand new introduction for myself to the younger Kakiu.


What is currently on your mind?

Other than what I created I have also been revisiting old hard disks. Believe it or not but that takes much more effort than tidying up a home. Virtual chaos is way way more chaotic than actual chaos in life.

Has there been something that has had a significant impact on your work lately?

Among the digital collections I revisited, the weird photos from nowhere might be what impacted me the most lately. I love how internet photos has that strong impact on people regardless of their quality, because the content is the only thing that matters!

How do you feel about 2021 so far?

2021 has not been too bad so far. Getting used to all the new norms from covid last year, it has been way more adoptable stepping in another new beginning. But it’s always funny how yesterday is last year and today is a new year on 1 January. Nothing so different yet everyone feels so different inside.   

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You currently have an installation/concept store in Hong Kong. How did you establish this idea and can you walk us through the creating process?

I started SHITSHOP999 when I realised there are so many possibilities in art-thinking that are perhaps not as “strong” as an “official” work of art but nevertheless interesting and worthy to be realised. When an object is not categorised as an art work but nevertheless treated as seriously and as playfully, the audience is then not limited to art lovers or other artists. Breaking the realm of exhibition space seems to be my biggest joy in selling my shits. As said in one of my video tour for my shops, if you take going to an exhibition like going to a church, when you are prepared whole heartedly to be present, my shits are daily objects to carry out some daily religious practice like morning prayers.

We love your website design. Can you tell us something about the idea behind the creation and design?

As for my website, I have always been quite obsessed with the cliche magic hours. The short hour of the sun setting is almost the only time we can look at that fireball so comfortably. Setting sun has been a symbol I used in making my artworks so that is where I begin on both my artist’s website as well as my SHITSHOP999 website. The virtual collage just goes on from there. I don’t hope to make people feel uncomfortable, but I do want them to sense an absurdity because that’s how I feel about the normal reality!


What is your fondest memory of your childhood and is that memory related to any of your work?

Not my fondest but one very daily memory has been almost the back bone of my video works. I work with a lot of found footage, fitting them into plots I wrote to get a new layer of a story. Growing up, my dad has been a lover of the TV and whenever there are people at home, the TV is on. He subscribed to a cable TV where there are different movie channels. It wasn’t like Netflix now. Back then, you didn't get to choose what you wanted to see but the channel played random movies all day. It depended on what time you switched to that channel to see which part of the plot you cut in and start the story. Over the years, this training granted me the superpower to grasp most commercial movies plot three minutes into watching it. Not only does it help me in locating which part of what found footage to use in my video works, but it also helps me in building plots in my stories. So thanks dad!

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In the creative industry, who have you always admired?

I love artists who have their own system of logic, regardless of how weird it is. I have always envied and love musicians. One artist I always seek comfort from when I feel down is Daniel Johnson. In his so disturbed head there is always a simplicity that makes feeling sad a bit easier. The way he plays clumsily and sing goofy hits me hard in his sincerity. I always learn from his sincerity. 


Looking back on your work, how would you say you’ve changed or evolved?

Looking back at works I made over the past few short years of being an artist, I do see some changes. One biggest difference last year is that perhaps from the boredom or the less stimulated daily in 2020, I am not so afraid of boring people in my art works and have been able to talk through them more directly. If a story is good it doesn’t have to be juicy. 

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We’ve got some rapid fire questions. Just answer with whatever comes to mind first.

I wanted to rap “Pussy for breakfast, that’s how I start my day”. It's from a really bad song called All the time.

What do you eat for breakfast?

I love eggs and bread for breakfast or sometime noodle soup in winter!

What is the biggest compliment you’ve received and from whom?

This question leads to a rather long story. I was always one of the lazy kids at school and never got any As or any firsts of anything. One year, around 12 or 13, I was the “Most Improved Student of The Year”. When I told my grandpa about it. He got really excited and asked if that means I came first in class. I explained to him that it only means I improved the most. He said, “So that’s a N°1!” He showed that certificate to a photo of my dead grandma and told her I got first. Like a month from that day on, whenever a relative or neighbour called or visited he told them I got a “N°1”, there were sparks in his eyes when he talked about it. My other cousins performed way better academically than me but he was never that excited. It wasn’t the words he used to compliment me that mattered, but how happy that news made him and how proud I made him feel. Even if by mistake, it has been my biggest compliment received.

Favorite place to visit in Hong Kong?

Sai Kung!

If you could trade places with anyone in this world for a day, who would it be and why?

Probably my partner, Nicole Wong who is my favorite artist! Two reasons, I want to know how she feels without having to express. Words and speeches is a very limited way of communication. Secondly I want to know how it feels to be loved by myself.

And lastly, what’s up next for you, can you tell us what you’re working on next?

In March I am having a solo exhibition in Hong Kong. Featuring my first artist book series and levitating the reading experience with a dreamily surreal installation.

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