CV + Statement
Hong Kong born British-Chinese artist Bettina Fung (Chinese name: 馮允珊 Fung Wan Shan) creates two dimensional, sequential, performative and site specific works. Her practice explores what drawing can become and focuses on the performative aspect of drawing, where process is as much a part of the work as the end result. Bettina draws live at exhibitions and festivals usually for long periods of time between 4-6 hours nonstop, hence sharing her process and allowing the work to unfold over time. She is curious in areas of life that are less defined. Themes of ritual, liminality, transcendence and Taoist philosophy are subjects of interest.
Originally trained in computer animation at Bournemouth University (NCCA), where her animated short Sushi was screened at exhibitions and festivals in the UK and Australia, Bettina has since worked as a video editor and now fully dedicates herself with her artistic practice.
Bettina has exhibited throughout London, nationally and abroad. She was a recipient of the a-n Artist Information Company's New Collaborations Bursary in 2014 and was the winner of the Draw the Line Open Exhibition at Surface Gallery in Nottingham, UK in April 2017.
Past collaborations include Strange Factories – an immersive feature film produced by FoolishPeople, How to Kill Bears – a comic anthology published by Disconnected Press and the Cock No.7 art collective fanzine (2010 - 2011), where one of the issues was selected and included in Tate Britain’s Rude Britannia exhibition in summer 2010. The collective also organised art events, one of which was held at the Barbican in 2010.
ON HER PRACTICE
Over time, I have gradually come to the understanding that my practice enables me to cultivate the ability to remain open to uncertainty and stay with not knowing, which in turn becomes a willingness to trust.
I am deeply inspired by the Taoist notion of “non-action” (wu-wei), a way of being that is purely natural and effortless, where actions are uncontrived and do not involve striving. I consider my drawings as aimless wanderings, “purposeless” like how the Taoist would describe nature, but spawn from deep within.
Sharing process to me is important, as it is as much a part of the artwork as the end result. It is an unfolding of something becoming, hence I am drawn to this liminal space between nothing and existence that is potent with possibilities. Utilising the performative aspect of drawing as a way to explore being, my works are often improvisational and created without a preconceived trajectory. I would start my drawing from nothing, a blank space or a piece of paper and with the intention to explore I leave behind expectations and fixation on predetermined outcomes. By being open to uncertainty and staying with the mind of not knowing, I carry out each step or put down each mark one after the other, sometimes responding to what came before, feeling my way as I navigate the unknown, constantly reorienting, staying in the present moment and remaining open to possibilities.
Recognising the tension between activeness and passivity within my process, I am drawn to the idea of ritual as it embodies both the act of doing as well as submission. Ritual could be considered as a kind of meditative surrender in a spiritual sense, but also a way of taking control in a psychological sense, where it is a set of repetitive behaviours used to prevent or neutralise anxiety. I consider my performance drawing as a ritual practice, each time re-connecting to self and connecting to others, connecting to the present moment and exploring the unknown through the process of art making, and simultaneously pacifying my anxieties towards uncertainty.
Young Blood Initiative's [IN]sane: Altered States of Mind exhibition, London UK
Makers of the Multiverse by Juneau Projects; Spacex, Exeter, UK
Draw the Line; Surface Gallery, Nottingham, UK
Radical Love: Female Lust; Crypt Gallery, London, UK; On tour: Storyhouse, Chester, UK (as part of Women of the World Festival); Gallery X, Dublin, Ireland
Un Festival Vrrr; Musée d'Art, Toulon, France
The Space between the Lines; 139 Artspace, London, UK (SOLO SHOW)
COLOUR (part of Plymouth Art Weekender); Studio 102, Plymouth, UK
Draw to Perform3: International Symposium of Drawing Performance; Curated by Ram Samocha; Crows Nest Gallery, London, UK
Duration & Dialogue Performance Arts Festival; Curated by Natasha Bailey, Dario Del Daga and Johannes Zits; Katzman Contemporary, Toronto, Canada
Toys (Are Us); Curated by Kosha Hussain; Crypt Gallery, London, UK
Draw to Perform 2: International Symposium for Drawing Performance; Curated by Ram Samocha; NUMBER3, London, UK
Guerrilla Zoo's Modern Panic V; Curated by James Elphick; Apiary Studios, London, UK
Bad Behaviour presents...chART; Brixton East, London, UK
Zeitgeist Art Projects Summer Exhibition; London, UK
21 Artists: London (also exhibited as part of RE:Think Festival); 3Space's Blackfriars Hub, London, UK
I am. Interrupted (part of One Billion Rising UK Art Festival); Curated by Kosha Hussain; The Doodle Bar, Battersea, London, UK
Seeing in the Dark; Curated by Paula MacArthur; The Fletcher Centre, Rye, UK
ALAS Autumn Residency 2012 Exhibition; Matt Roberts Arts, London, UK
It came from the East; House of Vostrovska Gallery, London, UK
Manifestation171210 Performance (as part of Barbican Late Christmas Bazaar); Barbican, London, UK
Liminal Mass - Performance evening as part of First Thursdays late opening of Art for the Environment exhibition at Bow Arts, London UK
Sensorium Art Show at Affect & Social Media3.0 Conference, curated by Todd Dean and Mikey Georgeson, University of East London, UK
Deadends enactment at The Deadends – A celebration of a made-up culture, curated by Mikey Georgeson, Studio One Gallery, London, UK
‘La Collection Secrète #2’ performance art event, organised by Kubilai Khan Investigations in partnership with Théâtre des Salins in Martigues, France
2017 Summer Lodge; Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, UK
2016 Play Ground; John Hansard Gallery, Southampton, UK
Study Week devised by Jesse Darling; Wysing Arts Centre, UK
2012 ALAS Autumn Residency; Matt Roberts Arts, London, UK
BURSARY & AWARD
2017 Winner of Draw the Line Open Exhibition at Surface Gallery, Nottingham, UK; Awarded solo show
2014 A-N Artist Company New Collaborations Bursary
gal-dem, "‘Radical Love: Female Lust’: turning historic Arabic poetry into contemporary art" by Olamiju Fajemisin, 27 February 2017
i-D, "these artists are creatively inspired by arabic poetry of love and lust" by Matthew Whitehouse, 20 February 2017
WORKSHOP FACILITATION & ART EDUCATION EXPERIENCE
2017 - present Bow Arts Artist Educator Trainee Programme: Facilitating art workshops within school settings. Worked with students from Yr3 to Yr6.
2017 - 2018
Cubitt Artists' Institute of Anything - Experimental & Performative Drawing workshops with young people (13-19 years old) as part of the 2017 programme as well as shorter taster sessions.
Goldsmiths Arts & Design Saturday Club - Take a line for a gif, performance drawing workshop for young people (13-16 years old), co-facilitated with Ram Samocha.
2005 BA Computer Visualisation & Animation (Bournemouth University): 1st class honour
2001 MEng Computer Science (Bristol University): completed 1st year