Akeroyd Collection


Kwan Sheung Chi, Two Million (二百萬), 2013

Two Million (二百萬)is a video work depicting the counting of one-thousand-dollar bills from Hong Kong. Shot at close quarters, the hands are large in the frame as they rifle, with precision, through the small pile of notes much like a bank clerk would. We, the viewer, are poised - maybe even conditioned - to attentively watch the action, scrutinizing the accuracy of the counter. However, it is quickly apparent that we have been duped. Under closer viewing of the video, we see that it was created by looping the same scene of moving fingers, giving the illusion that many bills are being counted when, in fact, only a few are present in the counter’s hands. A simple yet technologically skilful trick, the deception belies a larger commentary with deeper social implications. The work speaks to the increasingly speculative quality of financial capitalism as opposed to the hard materiality of industrial capitalism. The representational aspect of capital, it is also suggested here, is reliant to some degree on optics. No longer tethered to gold or other physical assets, money can be made from money itself through other forms of value production. Rather than scroll through 2000 individual bills, the work is arranged to an accurate duration whereby the same bill is thumbed a sufficient number of times to represent the final amount. The video calls attention to the way media distorts ideas of value while also reflecting on the way there is a transcoding of economic units into visual data.

MediumHDV, colour, mono sound
Duration16 minutes 18 seconds
Editionof 5 + 2 APs