pak sheung chuen: 'breathing in a house' at venice art biennale 09 pak sheung chuen: 'breathing in a house' at venice art biennale 09
jul 09, 2009

pak sheung chuen: 'breathing in a house' at venice art biennale 09

pak sheung chuen in his rented busan, korea apartment collecting his breath in transparent plastic bags

it is the fifth time that the hong kong arts development council has presented works of hong kong artists at the venice art biennale 09, this year with the ‘making (perfect) world: harbour, hong kong, alienated cities and dreams’ exhibition. curated by tobias berger (in association with para / site art space), the show highlights the work of local chinese artist pak sheung chuen.

chuen performs and documents humorously poetic ideas that elaborate on complex issues within the realm of politics, history, religion and globalization. these personal gestures encourage open-ended interpretations, inviting viewers to reflect and reconsider the infinite possibilities within their daily lives. his interest lies in the possibilities of discovering insightful messages that are encoded within the most unlikely and ordinary places.

one of his works included in the show was ‘breathing in a house’. for the piece, chuen rented out an apartment in busan, korea measuring in size 6.7m x 2.7m x 2.2m. he carried on living his normal daily routine there, but in the meantime collected all of his breath in transparent plastic bags until they consumed the entire living space. overall, the process took ten days to complete from september 1st to 10th, 2006. after completion he felt as if part of his life had been absorbed by the apartment.

the bags filled of chuen’s breath consuming the apartment

installation at the venice art biennale image © designboom

a sea of plastic bags image © designboom

video still of chuen in the kitchen, breathing into bags

continuously breathing away

the transparent bags slowly occupying the kitchen

chuen performing

pak sheung chuen was born in 1977 in fujian, china. he immigrated to hong kong in 1984, where he currently lives and works.

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.

comments policy
LOG IN
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.

(45 articles)

art news