Stephen Chen

Stephen Chen (Canada) – North South, 2013, 05:02

Originally created as a layered personal and political allegory on freedom and repression while living in Singapore, the tape of NORTH SOUTH was one of the few possessions Stephen Chen had when he fled Singapore in 2001.
It was lost while Stephen lived in exile in North America until the degraded tape was rediscovered in 2013. Remastered and re-edited to convey the experience of exile, NORTH SOUTH utilizes footage originally shot on VHS in 1998, and has music that has been reframed and rerecorded for its 2013 incarnation.

Stephen Chen
is a multi-disciplinary artist, having been an avant-garde concert pianist, fine-art photographer, filmmaker, performance artist, poet, composer and opera singer. Despite studying film and photography in Singapore, his focus shifted to more immediate performance forms due to discomfort with the collusion of media and the fascist regime.
After fleeing and settling in Canada, Stephen’s interest in the social and political potential of visual media was revived when John Greyson created the role of St. Caesura in FIG TREES (2009) for him. Stephen’s work is often allegorical, integrates social concerns with pedagogy, and hybridizes forms to make them expressive.