Seecum Cheung – Eviction in Shenzhen (2019-ongoing)
Eviction in Shenzhen (2019-ongoing) is a long-term ethnographic series of experimental documentary films which follows the planned demolition of Cheung’s fathers ancestral village of Hubei in Shenzhen, China, as the government initiates a major redevelopment plan to take its place. The proposed project includes an impressive 830m tall skyscraper which is set to become the tallest building in the world. This will be accompanied with a modern shopping centre, restaurants, plus a small portion of Hubei Old Village preserved as a living museum and film location for hire. The new redevelopment will become one of China’s most prized architectural accomplishments, a visual spectacle, which pays homage to the economic miracle that is Shenzhen as the city which led China to its new position as a global economical and technological power.
The film marks the eviction of the current tenants of the village who as low-income workers, are having to leave behind the cafes, food vendors, small businesses, residential homes and communities which they cultivated over a period of 10 – 20 years. Eviction in Shenzhen filmed over the course of this redevelopment period, will document these changes by recording the sociological make-up and ancient architecture of the village as it gradually disappears.
Seecum Cheung (b. 1984, Coventry, UK) lives and works in Rotterdam, Netherlands. Cheung is an artist, filmmaker and educator. She works with journalists and experts to conduct interviews with citizens, politicians and specialists in a bid to understand and reflect upon certain political moments in time.
Films include interviews with politicians from the far and ultra-right in Germany with writer & journalist Richard Cooke & SBS Public Broadcasters (Interview with Lennart, 2016); coverage of the Dutch elections with writer & broadcaster Morgan Quaintance (The Dutch Window, 2017); a commission by NHS England with equality and human rights charity brap (Inequalities of BAME patients Cancer Care Study, 2019), a long-term study of the gentrification of her father’s ancestral village in Shenzhen, China (Eviction in Shenzhen, 2019-ongoing), and most recently a project with Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen as part of the ‘Artist as Educator’ series (Working in Progress, 2021).
She is currently working towards a film that will focus upon the activities of the Camden Chinese Community Centre. The work will be made in collaboration with Sunday, a collective co-founded by herself, JJ Chan, Tiffany Leung, Denise Kwan & Natalie Tan. The project is commissioned by Camden City Council, Videoclub and Platform Asia, and supported by University of the Arts London, Kingston University London and Arts Council England.
She is tutor and Research Lecturer for Social Practice Minor, at the Willem de Kooning Academie.