Main menu Close main menu Main menu Menu ×

Lead artist appointed for Fear and Belonging

University of Manchester researchers, in collaboration with FutureEverything, appoint award-winning interdisciplinary artist Sian Fan to work with them on a project exploring the role that fear plays in religious belonging

Funded by the Leverhulme Trust, Fear and Belonging in Minority Buddhist Communities is a four-year research project at The University of Manchester investigating the productive role of fear in contemporary religious belonging and ongoing community formation. Through studies of two minority Buddhist communities in the UK and Japan, researchers are exploring how emotions shape people’s negotiation, performance, and experience of religious belonging, and the implications of this for the maintenance and renewal of religious communities.

As part of the Fear and Belonging project, award-winning international artist Sian Fan will work together with researchers for two years to produce an interactive open-access online artwork.

Fear is fundamental to human experience. It tends to be analysed as a negative and disempowering emotion, but it can also create solidarity and be a potent force for change.

Coming from mixed heritage (Chinese/British) Sian’s practice meditates on her tangled identity, exploring what it means to exist in between worlds. Her work often combines movement, the body, and technology to explore embodiment, identity, and human experience in the digital age.

Drawing on the research gathered, Sian will create an experimental, process-led digital artwork that is both conceptual and research driven. Her immersive web-based artwork will visualise and explore the intersecting fears that shape members’ experiences of belonging.

Sian Fan, Artist

“I am so excited to join the ‘Fear and Belonging in Minority Buddhist Communities’ project and look forward to diving into the team’s research. Over the course of the project, I hope to realise a conceptual and immersive new artwork that expansively meditates on the complex nature of human experience.”

Erica Baffelli, Professor of Japanese Studies at The University of Manchester

“We are delighted that Sian is joining our team and excited about the visual conceptual thinking and creativity that she will bring to the project.”

FutureEverything has a long history of collaborating with the University of Manchester across a range of projects, and we look forward to watching this project evolve and to seeing what Sian creates.