ANGELA CHAN

About me

"Angela Chan (UK) is an independent curator and artist. As a ‘creative climate change communicator’, she focuses on anti-colonial climate justice, knowledge systems, geography, and contemporary speculative fiction. She collaborates widely with artists, activists, speculative fiction authors and youth groups.

Angela curates as Worm: art + ecology, with recent activities including a DYCP research project on climate visual cultures in East Asia (2019), and the exhibition programme Climate Knowledges (MAMA, Rotterdam, 2020).

Through her research-based art practice, she works with video, communal conversations and speculative fiction writing to map and reconfigure climate communication and knowledges that centre minoritised perspectives.

As a Jerwood Arts / FACT Digital Fellow and a commissioned artist for Metal’s Estuary 2021 and Sonic Act’s OVEREXPOSED environmental research residency, Angela is currently researching and producing projects that respectively focus on climate framings on UK water scarcity; British explosives history and extractivism, and tear gas as a long-term environmental pollutant.

She is part of Chisenhale Gallery’s Myco-Lective artist development programme, and with Obsidian Coast’s Hypericum Working Group, she is co-writing a code of practice foregrounding marginalised cultural workers.

Angela also co-founded the London Chinese Science Fiction Group and co-directs the London Science Fiction Research Community. Her writing is published in Science Fiction (2020, MIT Press & Whitechapel Gallery).

She holds a joint honours undergraduate in History of Art and Scandinavian Studies with Norwegian (UCL) and an MA in Climate Change: History, Culture, Society (KCL)."

Reach me through

My main projects are

Current:

Image: Angela Chan

Worm: art + ecology

Since 2014, I have independently worked on Worm: art +ecology (wormworm.org), a long-term curatorial project that communicates climate change issues through contemporary art and creative practices. Through this, I produce online and gallery exhibitions, interviews with practitioners and also deliver public workshops and talks focused on intersectional climate justice issues.

Worm: art + ecology strives to challenge the criteria for climate change expertise, to encourage accessible and inclusive approaches to these issues, and forefront perspectives that are systemically marginalised from both the mainstream environmental and arts conversations. It is continually developing, with the aim to hold space for a growing global network of creative practices focused on climate issues.

I have curated funded gallery and online group exhibitions as Worm: art + ecology:

Moving image: Worm: art + ecology logo by Al Walker

Art practice

My art making practice centres climate knowledges and communication through co-learning anti-colonial climate narratives. It emphasises inclusive participation in everyday local and global climate activism, challenging the systemic structures of climate knowledge discourses (colonial histories, imperialist sciences). My work includes video recordings (with an interest in environmental remote sensing technologies), drawings, collaborative interviews, and speculative fiction writing as modes of representing bodies of research.

I am part of the year-long Myco-Lective artist development programme through Chisenhale Gallery, thinking about interspecies futures with other practitioners.

Currently, I am developing a project titled "Moss Rain Paradox", which critiques the language and climate communication methods of the UK’s 2020 Environmental Agency report, "Great British Rain Paradox" on our imminent water scarcity. I also explore alternative climate communication strategies that recentre marginalised experiences of climate impacts in the UK. My project is supported by the FACT and Jerwood Arts' Digital Fellowship.

For 2021, I am a commissioned artist for Estuary 2021 and will create a public art project on my research into the international environmental and humanitarian legacies of the former Pitsea Explosives Factory. I will also join Sonic Acts' OVEREXPOSED as an environmental research resident, with my focus on tear gas as a long-term environmental pollutant within the cycles of climate and social injustice, protest and state sanctioned humanitarian and environmental violence worldwide.


Image: [Export_Explode>, (WiP, 2021) by Angela Chan

London Chinese Science Fiction Group
科幻研究在伦敦

I work actively with science and speculative fiction through literature and art, collaborating with authors, translators and editors worldwide.

Co-founding the London Chinese Science Fiction Group (LCSFG) (April 2019), I co-curate our programme of translated readings and organise the monthly discussion meetings hosted at UCL, now online, where we facilitate for our readers to discuss the stories together with the authors and translators.

London Science Fiction Research Community (LSFRC)

I also co-direct the London Science Fiction Research Community (LSFRC). This year’s LSFRC theme for our monthly reading group and annual conference is Activism & Resistance.

Publication and writing

My writing is published in Science Fiction (2020, MIT Press and Whitechapel Gallery), and I have written about SF and interviewed science fiction authors for Dream Babes Zine 2.0 (PSS) and for filmmaker Cao Fei's exhibition (Serpentine Gallery).

My paper Climate Change and Contemporary Chinese Science and Speculative Fiction: Invisible, Extractive and Uneven Boundaries, is published in SFRA Review, Vol. 51, No. 1. It situates Chinese climate SF within the geopolitics of climate change and I presented it at LSFRC's Beyond Borders: Empires, Bodies, Science Fictions conference, as well as the livestreamed and recorded Hybrid Conference for FIBER Festival. Listen back here

I am also a new co-editor of BERSERKER, a journal of genre studies, outlandish comics, and science fiction published by Breakdown Press.


Image: Cover of the publication Science Fiction (2020, MIT Press and Whitechapel Gallery)


Other collaborations

I am working collaboratively with Obsidian Coast’s year-long Hypericum Working Group. It is a 'research project developing a collectively produced, ever-evolving code of practice for feminist, antiracist, anticolonial and environmentally sustainable arts organising'. This will foreground marginalised cultural workers to challenge the uneven working environments within arts institutions and elsewhere in the sector.

For 2020, I am part of Rotterdam art gallery MAMA's 'Poule of Programme Makers' and we curated a week-long programme Gentle Strategising with local creative activist groups.

I also research for other artists' projects, notably climate science research for the Otolith Group's film, INFINITY Minus Infinity (2020), in which I also feature.

I'm interested in collaborating with others on climate and social justice issues beyond the arts. Here's my summary for NüVoices, an international female and non-binary collective researching on China, and their panel on gender and climate change.


Image: Sensing / Mapping (2020) by Angela Chan

Workshops

Alongside diverse public workshop facilitations through gallery and museum programming, I also work with youth groups (aged 14-19) on longer projects about creative and intersectional perspectives on climate change. I deliver workshop series that introduce the colonial histories of climate change and encourage wider and connecting discussions on racial, social and youth activisms across climate justice activities.

I also navigate with young people how worldbuilding through science and speculative fiction could bring inclusive storytelling, as an exciting way to create their own climate narratives that speak to their imagined futures.

Youth groups I have worked with include the Art Assassins at South London Gallery (Summer 2019) who self-directed their own comic book project, and the RawMinds Ambassadors at Wellcome Collection (April - September 2020), who organised a webinar event with invited speakers for other 14-19 year olds, to explore the globally uneven climate impacts of food, ‘sustainable’ fashion and futures.


Image: Illustration by Immy Perryman for the RawMinds Ambassadors' event with the Wellcome Collection.

Talks

I regularly give public talks as part of museum and gallery exhibition programming, as well as conferences related to the climate, environmental, technology and literary sectors.

Some institutions I have spoken at include ICA London, Stuart Hall Library / Iniva, Barbican, Barber Institute, Somerset House, V&A Museum, Google HQ London and many others.

I enjoy participating with grassroots arts and activism groups. I have spoken at events organised by daikon* and Mother Tongues, and have also appeared on radio shows on stations like Resonance FM and Montez Press Radio.

Teaching

My teaching experience covers intersectional climate arts, creative climate communication, climate change's colonial history and race, climate science fiction and sinophone science fiction.

Recent lectures for undergraduate and postgraduate courses include, Architecture Association (AA), Falmouth University, CIEE and University of Kent.


Image: My talk at Somerset House for Earth Day 2018

Residencies

Awards

Independent Research

Worm: art + ecology

All exhibitions have been fully funded, thanks to:

Academic


Image: Angela's moss and green screen nails, bts filming with Otolith Group 2019



I work freelance on these projects and am open to freelance and other opportunities in the cultural, environmental, educational and literary sectors. I have previously worked at climate and arts charities and organisations including Julie's Bicycle, Cape Farewell, and both the Estates and Learning and Exhibitions departments at the V&A Museum, as well as in a sustainable architecture studio in Shanghai.
CV and portfolio available upon request.

Web design by Angela Chan