Phantom Banquet  


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 Rengfors Frost

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