JJ Chan


Working across and amidst sculpture, moving image, and writing, my work draws from lived experience and stories stolen from eavesdropped conversations, to explore the edges of realities in constructing identity. Through storytelling and world-building, this work (re)searches for an alternative space beyond aggressively progressive capitalist time, seeking new worlds from the ashes of the present.

My work seeks an alternative way of being and of seeing. At the foundations of my work and (re)search, is an investigation of portraiture and self-portraiture which seeks new cartographies of gender, identity, and collecting, that are sited at the boundaries between the authentic and the imaginary. This aims to make possible new forms of representation and storytelling/story-reading by combining methods of making, collecting and narrating.

I work towards contributing to artistic enquiries on race, gender, diaspora and portraiture, and towards the discovery of a new kind of imag(in)ing. In this work, I give emphasis to questions of materiality, embodiment, and sensuality. Consolidating this work and its synthesis with studio-based teaching, and bringing this to bear on the urgent sociopolitical and ecological challenges we face today, has lead to a relationship with teaching and learning that is underpinned by collaboration and a non-hierarchical working-with students that champions their own voices in the wider contexts of art practice. This collaborative student/teacher endeavour allows us to explore the most urgent emerging enquiries pushing against the cultures of today, and to co-create a curriculum that holds at its core the values of academic research; that of the urgency of new discovery and its contribution to the future of knowledge.

I studied Fine Art the Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts, Lancaster University, and later Sculpture at the Royal College of Art, where I also completed a PGCert in Art and Design Education through the RCA Teaching Fellowship.

Academic responsibilities

Senior Lecturer in Fine Art


  • BA(Hons.) Fine Art
  • MA Sculpture
  • PGCert Art and Design Education

Teaching and learning

Undergraduate courses taught

Postgraduate courses taught

Social media