Dialogue across Borders: Angela Su’s Chimeric Antibodies

Volume 14, Issue 4

Born and raised in Hong Kong, Angela Su is adept at a variety of art forms, including ink drawing, human hair embroidery, video art, animation and performance. Graduating from the University of Toronto with her undergraduate training in biochemistry, and then from the Ontario College of Art and Design University with another degree in visual arts, Su’s works have been shaped by the place where she grew up. She transplants a lush, Gothic style of pessimism into a city where people have struggled for survival alongside its hard-earned prosperity. In 2018, Su was commissioned by the Wellcome Trust to create art exploring the complexity of infectious diseases in the transregional project “Contagious Cities.” Her performance-based video was inspired by the outbreak narratives permeating Hong Kong’s two-century-long encounter between two great civilizations. Here, we select one of Angela’s early works, Chimeric Antibodies (2011), which prophetically interrogates arrays of agendas in the time of COVID-19 (Fig. 1). While scientists and the public are still puzzled by the transmission mechanisms of this mysterious virus and in desperate search of effective responses, the artist’s vision is no longer just an expression of scientific knowledge. It is instead a powerful lens through which we collectively reflect on our hope, impotence, and apprehension. The interview is conducted by Harry Yi-Jui Wu of the University of Hong Kong. A veteran historian of medicine, Wu joins EASTS as a member of the cover team in 2020.

EASTS Editorial Office

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