of Fine Arts

Karmen_image - # Cheng Kar-men Mary Topaz

Kar-men Cheng

MA Fine Arts
2019 — 2020

LASALLE's MA Fine Arts Programme was Kar-men Cheng’s first formal foray into a studio practice. This venture into art was motivated by her need for an open-ended space to define research and combine critical analysis with storytelling and chance. Extending her previous research on everyday power dynamics, Kar-men peruses different modes of communication to uncover links between identity formation, interaction and language.


Bodied Words
1 channel video projection, aspect ratio 16:9, 2 channel audio 
300 x 200 cm

Bodied Words draws from several layers of social presence abstracted from a text message conversation game. It explores the way we perform each other's voice in our head, and the multitudinous ways in which words build a picture of an idea. This project is borne out of two strangers getting to know each other remotely, through text message exchanges. From a distance, we were unable to tune into each other's body language. Instead we embodied our dialogue. Keywords from our conversations are randomly picked and then mined for their political connotations: our words below the waves, their discourse of power above.

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