Tate Modern

Pak Sheung Chuen until 18 November 2018

Blavatnik Building Level 3

The only way to see this installation is by using flash photography. This experience echoes how the work was created and encourages us to think about the relationship between vision and memory

In 2008, Pak Sheung Chuen travelled to Malaysia on a sightseeing holiday. He closed his eyes and wore dark glasses throughout his five-day trip. Unable to see his surroundings, Pak relied on his mother and fellow tour companions to guide him. He documented his time in Malaysia using a simple point-and-shoot camera, taking hundreds of photographs on 19 rolls of film. Pak commented, ‘During the trip, I was still doing all the sightseeing and took many photos, but instead of seeing, I only used my body to sense and experience my surroundings.’ These images become part of Pak’s memory of his holiday. He committed never to visit Malaysia again so the photographs would form his only visual experience of the country.
This display shows a selection of the photographs Pak took in Malaysia on the walls of an unlit gallery space together with sound recordings made during his trip. Pak refers to the installation as an ‘unseen room’. You are invited to turn on the flash setting of your camera, step into the dark space and use your camera to explore and photograph the room. As camera flashes go off, you will catch brief glimpses of the surrounding walls but you will need to use your other senses to get your bearings. This means of encountering Pak’s work echoes how he made A Travel without Visual Experience. By looking at photographs taken in the installation once they have left the gallery, visitors experience Pak’s work as he experienced Malaysia.

Please remember that flash photography is not permitted in other areas of the gallery.

Curated by Marko Daniel and Valentina Ravaglia

The Catherine Lagrange and Pierre Lagrange Gallery


Tate Modern
London SE1 9TG
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