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Dr Susan Pui San Lok

Professor of Contemporary Art and Director UAL Decolonising Arts Institute
University of the Arts London
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Researcher Research
Susan Pui San  Lok


Dr susan pui san lok is an artist and writer based in London. She joined UAL in June 2018 as a Reader, and was appointed Professor in Contemporary Art and Director of the Decolonising Arts Institute in October 2019. Prior to UAL, she was a Reader then Associate Professor in Fine Art in the Faculty of Arts and the Creative Industries at Middlesex University (2013-18). She was Co-Investigator on the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)-funded project, Black Artists and Modernism (2015-18), led by UAL in partnership with Middlesex University, with Professor Sonia Boyce as Principal Investigator. She has also taught at the University of East London, Goldsmiths College, and guest-lectured widely, including at Alfred University, New York; Birkbeck College, London; Concordia University, Montreal; Courtauld Institute, London; HDK-Valand, Gothenburg University; Reed College, Portland, Oregon; Royal College of Art, London; Sotheby’s Institute of Art, London; UAL Central Saint Martins and Wimbledon Colleges of Arts; University of Leeds; and Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton.

susan’s practice ranges across moving image, installation, sound, performance and text. Projects include the solo exhibitions 'seven x seven' at Glasgow International Festival (2021), 'A COVEN A GROVE A STAND' at Firstsite, Colchester (2019), 'RoCH Fans & Legends' at QUAD (2015) and CFCCA (2016), 'Faster, Higher' at MAI/Montreal Arts Interculturels (2014), and various commissions for Film and Video Umbrella, De La Warr Pavilion, BFI Southbank and Cornerhouse/BBC Big Screen. International group exhibitions include Diaspora Pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale (2017), the 1st Asia Biennial and 5th Guangzhou Triennial (2015-2016), and shows at SITE Sante Fe, Hong Kong Art Centre, Shanghai Duolun MoMA, Beijing 798 Space and Gallery 4a, Australia.

Publications include ‘between the voice between the words between the work between us’ in ‘Voice as Form’, a special issue of Oxford Art Journal (P. Corey and W. Teo eds., 2020); and ‘Vong Phaophanit and Claire Oboussier: Three Decades, Four Moments’ in ‘Remapping British Art: Three Moments of Modernism’, a special issue of the journal Art History (S. Boyce and D. Price eds., 2021). She is a co-editor of Conceptualism: Intersectional Readings, International Framings – Situating ‘Black Artists and Modernism’ in Europe (with N. Aikens and S. Orlando, Van Abbemuseum e-publication, 2019), to which she also contributed the essay, ‘Found and Lost – Waste to Dust: Shimizu, Takahashi, Phaophanit/Oboussier'. She has also co-edited and contributed to two special issues of Journal of Visual Culture: Ways of Seeing – 40th Anniversary Issue (with R. Guins, J. Kristensen, 2012), Hong Kong, and other Returns (2007); and contributed the essay ‘A – Y (Entries for an Inventionry of Dented ‘I’s)’ to the award-winning Shades of Black – Assembling Black Art in 1980s Britain (D. Bailey, I. Baucom and S. Boyce eds., 2005, Iniva and Duke University Press).

Other recent writings include a contribution to ‘Decolonising Art History’, a special issue of Art History (C. Grant & D. Price eds, 2020) and the following visual/video/text essays: 'Tiohtià:kee, Tāmaki Makaurau, somewhere over the under, beneath the between' in Ngā Tai o te Ao: Global Tides (A. Chang et al eds., St Paul St Publishing, Auckland University of Technology and the Asian/Pacific/American Institute, New York University, e-publication, 2020, forthcoming); ‘We Will Be’ in the award-winning The Place Is Here (N. Aikens and E. Robles eds., 2019, Sternberg Press); ‘Through the Gate / an(g)archivery’ in Deviant Practice (N. Aikens ed., 2018, Van Abbemuseum e-publication); ‘Testing, Contesting’ in Contesting British Chinese Culture (A. Thorpe and D. Yeh eds., 2018, Palgrave Macmillan); and ‘SPSL / A – Y (Revisited)’ in the Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art (F. Koch & R. O. Lopes eds. 2016).