MING WONG: On Melodrama & Performance
Tuesday, November 8, 2016, 6:30pm
Pepper Canyon Hall 109
University of California, San Diego
Department of Visual Arts, co-sponsored by Critical Gender Studies

Ming Wong is a Singapore artist living and working in Berlin. He re-interprets iconic moments from world cinema and popular culture in his videos, photographs, installations, and performances, often portraying multiple key characters irrespective of language, gender, ethnicity, nationality, or historical period. Through imperfect translations and re-enactments, the artist uncovers the gaps and slippages that haunt the notions of “authenticity” and “originality” in self and society, and reveals how one’s identity is constructed, reproduced, and circulated. Awarded a Special Mention (Expanding Worlds) in 2009, Wong represented Singapore at the 53rd Venice Biennale with his solo presentation Life of Imitation, an exhibition restaging the imaginary of Douglas Sirk’s 1959 film Imitation of Life as a critique of melodrama in Hollywood cinema and racial and gender politics in multi-ethnic Singapore. A multi-channel video installation, the presentation also included collaborative artworks with Singapore’s last cinema billboard painter and a private collector of the country’s cine-memorabilia.

Wong’s newest work was commissioned as part of a series of new artist’s films at the 2016 Frieze Art Fair in London. He has had solo exhibitions at leading institutions worldwide, including Ullens Centre for Contemporary Art, Beijing (2015); Shiseido Gallery, Tokyo (2013); REDCAT, Los Angeles (2012); Museum of the Moving Image, New York, 2011; and Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, Berlin (2010). Wong has been included in numerous international biennials, including Sydney Biennale (2016 & 2010); Shanghai Biennale (2014); Lyon Biennale (2013); Liverpool Biennial (2012); Gwangju Biennale (2010); Performa 11, New York (2010). He studied Chinese art at Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts in Singapore, and he has a MFA in Fine Art Media from the Slade School of Art in London.