Sian Fan is an award winning interdisciplinary artist working between Essex and London where she is artist in residence at Somerset House Studios. From 2021-22 she was the Digital Wonderlands artist in residence at the V&A Museum. She is also alumna of Sarabande Foundation where she was in residence from 2020-21. A graduate of the Fine Art Masters course at Central Saint Martins, she was awarded the prestigious Mona Hatoum Scholarship and was nominated for the Nova Award. In 2014 she graduated from the University of Brighton's BA Performance and Visual Art Dance course, where she was awarded the prize for Outstanding Creative Achievement.
She has exhibited internationally with institutions including Tate Modern, FACT, and the V&A, as well as producing work with Channel 4, the BBC and Facebook/Meta. Most recently she has produced a new commission for the major exhibition CUTE at Somerset House. Sian also does lectures, seminars and discussions and has worked with universities, schools and institutions including UAL, Mutek, V&A Museum, Anglia Ruskin, Goldsmiths, DanceEast and Whitechapel Gallery.
My work combines movement, the body and technology to explore embodiment, identity, and human experience in the digital age. Drawing on my background in contemporary and aerial dance I suspend, augment, and interrupt the body via choreography and digital media. My work manifests as a meshing of the physical and the virtual, taking form as sculpture, costume, performance, animation, installation, and new media.
Coming from mixed heritage (Chinese/British) my practise meditates on my tangled identity, exploring what it means to exist in between worlds. Via my work I delve into my murky relationship with my own heritage, reflecting on diaspora, cultural imposter syndrome and the objectification of Asiatic bodies. I am particularly interested in the uneasy synchronicities between Asian and cyborgian bodies; in popularised depictions of Asiatic bodies in anime and video games; and in the thresholds of human identity where one exists as both and neither at the same time.
By extension I am fascinated by virtual identities, and in how we construct virtual bodies which we cast in hyperspace, extending beyond our physical bodies. I am concerned with the immaterial nature of spiritual and metaphysical identity and with being human in our increasingly digitised and hyperconnected world. Through my work I seek to acknowledge and interrogate the harmony and the acrimony that accompany our coexistence with technology.
Photo by Alina Zum Hebel