Phantom Banquet - Performa
A Performa 19 Commission
Performa Hub: Jeffrey Deitch Gallery, New York
12.11.2019 - 16.11.2019
For Performa 19, artist Lap-See Lam will present Phantom Banquet, a multi-channel installation
and performance piece informed by the language and hospitality rituals observed at Chinese
restaurants in Sweden. Using narrative storytelling, virtual reality, live music, sculptures and
food, the work examines the relevance of imagined and metaphorical spaces and the complexity
of cultural identity within the theme of diaspora.
Exploring technologies including 3D scanning, virtual reality and animation, Lam has
systematically taken to document increasingly endangered old Chinese restaurants in Sweden.
By preserving the legacy of these restaurant interiors, her work considers how myths, popular
culture and fiction have the potential to control and construct notions of identity and belonging,
weaving together the spirit of the Hong Kong-Chinese diaspora across the world and the value
of cultural-historical heritage.
In this new work, Lam will guide viewers through a haunting five-part installation, beginning
with a story set in 1978 in Stockholm of a girl who disappears through a mirror and into
another dimension. Participants will be seated family style at a dinner banquet, and experience
a narrative script with digitally-manipulated visualizations of real-life Chinese restaurants. A
live musical performance accompanies the work, featuring vocals and instrumentals from
Sweden and New York City. The work explores concepts around ghosts,
moving bodies, becoming other, displacement and visuality.
Phantom Banquet is approximately thirty minutes.
Curator: Sara Arrhenius (Royal Institute of Art)
Producer: Esa Nickle (Performa)
Assistant Curator: Charlene K. Lau (Performa)
Associate Producers: Debbie Huang (Performa) and Sofia Curman (Royal Institute of Art)
Technical Producers: Sascha von Oertzen and Ian Wessman
Live musicians: Li Qiong Lin, Shao Ji Tan, Qi Bin Chen, Jian Bo Xie
Performer: Tin Tay
Voiceover script: Lap-See Lam and Wingyee Wu
Voiceover: Wingyee Wu
Sound Designer and Composer: Marlena Lampinen
Sound mixing and mastering: Linus Hillborg
VR Producer: Sofia Curman
Real Time Engine consultant: Martin Christensen
Motion Capture Studio: DevinSense
VR vocals: Ping-Kwan Lam
Textile fabrication: Emmy
Sculpture fabrication: Neoset Designs
Neon fabrication: Vida Graphics and Signs
Food: Mission Chinese Food
Construction consultation: Joe Diamond
The artist would like to thank Esther Eriksson, Dennis Härmä and Hampus Larsson,
the restaurant staff at New Peking City, Hang Chow, Mandarin City, Ming Garden, Ming
Palace, Bamboo Garden, Ho Wah, Hong Kong, Wing Shing, and Winner House.
Lap-See Lam’s Performa Commission is curated by Sara Arrhenius and co-produced by the
Royal Institute of Art. Supported by Christel Engelbert, Chairwoman of Maria Bonnier Dahlin
Foundation. Additional support provided by the Consulate General of Sweden in New York,
the Embassy of Sweden in Washington, D.C., the Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation, Galerie
Nordenhake Stockholm and Bonniers Konsthall.
Phantom Banquet is part of the Swedish Pavilion for the Performa 19 Biennial.
Photo: Paula Court (Performa) & Marguerite