Pak Sheung Chuen: Measuring Time

Wandering around the city is like writing poems.

Pak Sheung Chuen

In this video, artist Pak Sheung Chuen (born 1977, Fujian Province) takes us to two locations of performances documented in his six-part installation Waiting for a Friend (without Appointment): the Kowloon Tong MTR station and a Hong Kong apartment building.

His performance Waiting for a Friend (without Appointment) is the performance after which the installation is named. It involved him standing in the Kowloon Tong MTR station for as long as it would take to see someone he knew in the crowds. In a photograph time-marked at 16:36, the work documents the rare chance of randomly encountering a friend. For his performance Waiting for All the People Sleep, he waited next to a Hong Kong apartment building on Tonkin Street as night fell. He watched as each apartment window turned out their lights, listing the times that the inhabitants must have gone to sleep, until only one remained.

Between 2003 and 2008, Pak was a visual arts columnist for the Sunday supplement of Ming Pao Daily News. He uses this experience to draw inspiration from everyday life, creating thoughtful and playful performances, instructions, and experiments that explore notions of coincidence and uncertainty. Staging a seemingly meaningless situation can trigger multiple connections and meanings, while also using humour as a strategy to interrupt the normality of daily life.


Objects from the M+ Collections featured in this video:

Pak Sheung Chuen. Waiting for All the People Sleep, 2006. Framed photographs . M+, Hong Kong. ©Pak Sheung Chuen
Pak Sheung Chuen. Waiting for a Friend (without Appointment), 2006. Framed photographs. M+, Hong Kong. ©Pak Sheung Chuen

Video Credits

Produced by M+
Camera: CPAK Studio
Editor: Anafelle Liu
M+ Curatorial Research: Isabella Tam, Ethan Cheng
M+ Video Production: Chris Sullivan, Jaye Yau, Elaine Wong
M+ Transcript and Closed Captions: LW Lam, Ellen Oredsson, Amy Leung
Special Thanks: Pak Sheung Chuen