Focus

Wong Ping

Wong Ping, Wong Ping’s Fables 1, 2018. Courtesy: the artist and Edouard Malingue Gallery, Hong Kong

Wong Ping, Wong Ping’s Fables 1, 2018. Courtesy: the artist and Edouard Malingue Gallery, Hong Kong

‘Fables’ is a new commission by celebrated emerging Hong Kong artist Wong Ping (b. 1985) that comprises three distinct animations projected in a dark room on a singular wall flanked on the left and right walls by a sequence of hung works that reference characters and scenes from the films.

Each ‘fable’ presents a succinct fictional story with imaginary characters and communicates a ‘moral’ lesson. For example, ‘Tree’ recounts its bus travel and telepathic dialogue with a cockroach, which it fears, but is invading pregnant Mama Elephant's possessions. Achieving communication yet ultimately losing touch, the story highlights the powerlessness of righteous thinkers. The proposal reflects Wong Ping's ability to create an engulfing world around his visions.

More specifically, each of the films created reflect his emblematic style of combining the crass and the colourful to mount a darkly humorous discourse around personal sentiments and societal observations using a visual language that sits on the border of shocking and amusing. The wall works equally presents his interest in bringing elements and protagonists of his animation works into physical, three-dimensional life. Ultimately, ‘Fables’ is a series of behavioural insights in multiple parts. The sequential animation trilogy provides an engaging panorama of societal tendencies whilst the hanging works permit for paused vignette contemplation of the protagonists’ plights. Through the fantastical foil, the installation cumulatively provides a liberating rawness and urges a cathartic twist on the trials rooted in daily life.

Wong Ping is one of Hong Kong’s most exciting emerging artists. His animations have been commissioned by M+, NOWNESS as well as Prada and he was awarded one of Perspective’s ‘40 under 40’. His recent shows include, ‘One Hand Clapping’ at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and ‘Songs for Sabotage’ at New Museum, New York.  Moreover, Wong held a residency at the Chinese Centre for Contemporary Art (CFCCA) and has held exhibitions internationally in Manchester, Hong Kong, Istanbul, Berlin and Paris, amongst other locations. His animation films have been presented at numerous festivals internationally, from Belgium and the UK to Mexico and Australia, and have been reviewed in LEAP, ArtAsiaPacific and other publications. Wong’s work is held in several permanent collections including M+, Hong Kong, KADIST, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Fosun Art Foundation, Shanghai, amongst others.