10 Feb: Looking at the work of Suki Chan and Melanie Manchot

SUKI CHAN (b.1977)

Her work combines light and the moving image, with mixed media installations to explore the physical experience of space.  The TinType Gallery.com quotes her as saying that,  “The aesthetics are intended to seduce.  I want to transport the viewer to an elsewhere, one step removed from real life.”  Her work follows a similar format of slow, still either static or panned short shots, with a black fade out and ambient sounds with of the environment or the surroundings.

This short film was made in 2012

Still Point from Suki Chan on Vimeo.

This still is taken from the film


Her previous works have included Interval II (2008), Istanbul (2010) and Sleep Walk, Sleep Talk (2009), which is interesting in her use of a split two-part screen in part of the film  with related images in both.  Although there is action in both, they are linked and neither compete solely for the viewer’s attention. The following still is taken from the film.

Suki Chan sleepwalk.0009

Her latest film Obscura (2015) is one of eight newly commissioned films exploring different aspects and perspectives of a north London road, Essex Street.  This latest film can be viewed on my video page CLICK HERE


She works with photography, film, video and installation and explores portraiture as part of a performative and participatory practice.  Her works have included Flesh and Blood (1997) when she took 40 images of her mother then aged 66, to refine the idea of female beauty.   In 2013 she produced a film entitled, Leap after The Great Ecstasy which depicts behind the scenes coverage of workers preparing the annual Ski Jump Cup competition at Englebert, Switzerland.  Part of the film is back and white and part colour, and comprises of short clips that blend into each other with ambient sounds and music.  It can be viewed on my video page – CLICK HERE. Her photographic influence can be seen through  the composition and framing  of the shots.

The following still image is taken the film.

Melanie ManchotLEAP-2-videostill1

In 2013 she released her Tracer.  It follows a group of 10 Apeuro Free Runners as they make their way long the course of the BUPA Great North Run.  Manchot talks about the making of this film on YouTube, and states that she was endeavouring to trace a line across the environment.  There are low scenes with no cuts and it shows the runners contact with the surfaces they encounter enroute.  There are two short clips from this film on my video page CLICK HERE.  The following image is taken from her film.

Melanie Manchot great run

In 2014 she has adopted a variation on previous work to produce a film entitled The Hall.  This black and white film follows four walkers making seperate journeys to the same destination.  Once there it becomes a group activity and the following shot was taken from the film.

Melanie Manchot The Hall6

The film explores the idea of community with individual actions being filmed in slow motion. It looks at activities that are often regarded a ordinary with no voice over.  Her website (www.melaniemanchot.net) states that the film echoes earlier documentary filmmakers such as Humphrey Jennings’ Spare Time (1939).

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