Angela Su received a degree in biochemistry in Canada before pursuing visual arts. Su’s works investigate the perception and imagery of the body, through metamorphosis, hybridity and transformation. Through her performance-based works such as The Hartford Girl and Other Stories (2012) , she investigates the tension of the artist’s dualistic state of being when under physical endangerment or distress. Cosmic Call (commissioned by Wellcome Collection in 2018) and The Afterlife of Rosy Leavers (2017) include drawings, videos, performative and installation works that explore the interrelations between our state of being and the advancement of technology. Central to these projects are video essays that weave together fiction and facts. Archival photographs, prints and film footages are systematically used by the artist to create a realm that oscillates between reality and fantasy. With focus on the history of medical science, her works challenge the dominant belief systems and contemplate the impact of technology on the past, present and future.
In recent years, Angela began to explore science fiction as her creative medium. In 2013, she published an artist novel Berty, and in 2017, a science fiction anthology Dark Fluid where she uses science fiction as a tool for social justice.
She has participated in “Sala10” (Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico, 2020); “Meditations in an Emergency” (Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, 2020); “Contagious Cities” (Commissioned work by Wellcome Trust, at Tai Kwun, Hong Kong, 2019); “Woven” (curated section of Frieze London, 2019); “Artists’ Film International” (Whitechapel Gallery, London, 2019); “Pro(s)thesis” (Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Austria, 2017); “The 2nd CAFAM Biennale: The Invisible Hand” (CAFA Art Museum, China, 2014); “17th Biennale of Sydney” (Museum of Contemporary Art, Australia, 2010).
Cosmic Call, 2019, 12’43”
Angela Su’s Cosmic Call sees the virus as a cephalopod spreading its tentacles across astronomy, borders, and archives. Cosmic Call is commissioned by the Wellcome Trust for the Contagious Cities project in early 2019, the timing of which only seems prescient now with COVID-19. Cosmic Call proposes an alternative to the western medicine-centric outbreak narrative of epidemics, and explores the cosmological and extra-terrestrial origin of infections and diseases based on a review of ancient manuscripts and a critique of Chinese medicine. The video ends with the artist injecting herself with different kinds of virus and bacteria, thereby becoming one-and multitude with the viral paradoxes, an origin story and an end-game scenario at once.