Hera Chan (Hong Kong)

Gossip is a Fearful Thing

Based on the rumor of 1930’s Shanghai-based silent film actress Ruan Lingyu, who left in her suicide note these words: “Gossip is a fearful thing, gossip is a fearful thing.” Chan performed a dramatic reading of a political theatre script that drew upon traditions of pageantry and street theatre in Hong Kong and factory plays from Mainland China. As a possible conclusion to her recent project Miss Ruthless International, her lecture-performance also ruminated on the most powerful discursive force in contemporary art; that is gossip.

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Hera Chan, Gossip is a Fearful Thing, 2017. Performance documentation
FIELD MEETING Take 5: Thinking Project, November 14th at Asia Society.


Hera Chan is the curator and managing director of Videotage in Hong Kong. Committed to sustaining networks of solidarity through media infrastructures, she co-founded and was director of Atelier Céladon in Montreal. In 2017 as part of Para Site Hong Kong’s Emerging Curators program, she co-curated In Search of Miss Ruthless exhibition and public programs in part- nerships with Spring Workshop (Hong Kong) and UCCA (Beijing).

Judy Dan from Hong Kong places third runner-up in first Miss Universe, televised from Long Beach, California in 1952. Courtesy of the artist