Paul Chan’s 4th Light is part of the 7 Lights series that Chan created between 2005 and 2008. In these works Chan uses computer technology to create a black-and-white universe of shadow play. 4th Light presents a window onto an alternate realm where human bodies free-fall toward the ground, while a disparate assortment of objects, including guns, public telephones, hammers, and building exteriors float effortlessly upward. With 4th Light Chan may offer a subtle, poetic critique of a world turned upside down.
Paul Chan was born in Hong Kong in 1973 and grew up in Omaha, Nebraska. In 1996, he graduated from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago with a BFA in Video/Digital Arts and went on to receive an MFA in Film, Video, and New Media from Bard College in 2002. With his drawings, installations, and animations, Chan conjures fantasy realms rife with philosophical complexities. Chan is also a political activist, selectively integrating that passion with his artistic practice. His work has been presented in solo exhibitions at the New Museum in New York; the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles; and the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. Notable group exhibitions include the 2008 Torino Triennale, the 2007 Istanbul Biennial, and the 53rd Venice Biennale in 2009. Chan lives and works in New York.