In his work the video artist Ming Wong deals with socio-critical topics: xenophobia, homosexuality, exclusion and incest repeatedly define his work. He plays with characters and gender of wellknown movies and questions their displayed role models. For this purpose Ming Wong works his way into every single displayed character, dresses up, puts on make-up and does his hair, just like the character in question, to then portray it in his own interpretation. For that he speaks in the original language of the film, even though he might not master it. Therefore his works are subtitled twofold, in the original language and English. In this way he dissolves language barriers and questions, interprets and reveals gender roles, partly also dissolving them. In an exaggerated manner his characters appear either in the original location (Death in Venice), or in sets that are modeled after them. With an (un)intended humour or vicious satire he reduces the whole scenario to absurdity.
In his work »Making Chinatown« he interprets with the film »Chinatown« by Roman Polanski, which stands in the tradition of »film noir«: corruption, intrigues, murder, fraud, treason and incest — the film addresses all morally reprehensible topics and finds a totally new representation in Ming Wong’s interpretations. The topic of incest, also being a central theme of Wagner’s »Valkyrie«, only reveals itself in the end of the film as key to the plot. In contrast to Wagner however, the story of the film is characterised by hate and power and not by love, which with Wagner leads to the incestuous union of the siblings Siegmund and Sieglinde.
Ming Wong builds layers of cinematic language, social structure and identity through his re-telling of world cinema. He deliberately ‘mis-casts’ himself and others in re-interpretations of iconic films and performances, often playing multiple roles in a foreign language. Working through the visual styles and tropes of such iconic film directors as Fassbinder, Wong Kar-wai, Visconti, Pasolini, Douglas Sirk, Ingmar Bergman, Polanski, etc, Wong’s practice considers the means through which subjectivity and geographic location are constructed by motion pictures.
Solo Exhibitions (Selection)
2013 Me in Me, Shiseido Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
2012 Making Chinatown, REDCAT, Los Angeles, USA
2011 Persona Performa, Performa 11 at the Museum of the Moving Image, New York, USA
2011 Ming Wong’s CYCLORAMA, Vitamin Creative Space, Guangzhou, China
2011 Life Of Imitation, Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo & Frye Art Museum, Seattle Washington, USA
2011 Devo partire. Domani, Villa Romana, Florence, Italy
2010 Kontakthope, Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, Berlin, Germany
2009 Life of Imitation, Singapore Pavilion, 53rd Venice Biennial, Italy
Group Exhibitions (Selection)
2012 Liverpool Biennial, UK
2011 Berlin 2000-2011: Playing among the ruins, Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, Japan
2011 based in berlin, Atelierhaus Monbijoupark, Berlin, Germany
2011 Rollenbilder |Rollenspiele, Museum der Moderne Salzburg, Austria
2011 Singapore Biennial
2010 Gwangju Biennial, South-Korea
2010 Sydney Biennial, Cockatoo Island, Sydney, Australia
2010 The Fate of Irony, KAI10, Düsseldorf, Germany