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Wong Ping: Your Silent Neighbor

06/25/20-09/27/20

The New Museum presents the first American survey exhibition of work by Wong Ping (b. 1984, Hong Kong).

Cover Image:

Wong Ping, Wong Ping’s Fables 2, 2019 (still). Single-channel animation, sound, color; 13 min. Courtesy the artist; Edouard Malingue Gallery, Hong Kong / Shanghai; and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York / Los Angeles

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Over the past ten years, Wong Ping has developed a highly personal, self-taught style of animation to craft tales of individual desire, societal pressure, and political upheaval.

“Wong Ping: Your Silent Neighbor,” the first American survey exhibition of work by the artist, will debut a new video work by the artist produced in Hong Kong and the United States, along with new sculptural works created especially for the exhibition. Before his colorful and sometimes disturbing stories of life in Hong Kong received mainstream attention from the art world, the artist worked in television broadcasting and commercial animation. Although his videos may at first recall children’s cartoons, Wong’s work emerges from his own written stories and journals, revealing the aspirations and anxieties of everyday residents of Hong Kong through surreal narratives and a bizarre cast of anthropomorphic characters.

This exhibition will bring together a selection of new and recent work by Wong from across his experimental oeuvre, including Jungle of Desire (2015), a video that tells the story of a homemaker turned sex worker whose exchanges with her police-officer client are voyeuristically observed by her husband. The exhibition will also include Wong Ping’s Fables 2 (2019), the second of Wong’s takes on traditional fairy tales in which a variety of creatures learn valuable lessons about living in the complex sociopolitical landscape of contemporary Hong Kong. The first of Wong’s Fables premiered in the New Museum’s 2018 Triennial “Songs for Sabotage.”

The exhibition is curated by Gary Carrion-Murayari, Kraus Family Curator, with Francesca Altamura, Curatorial Assistant, and is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue, the artist’s first, with an essay by Carrion-Murayari; an interview with the artist conducted by Tobias Berger and Xue Tan of Tai Kwun Centre for Heritage and Arts, Hong Kong; and a special contribution by artist David Horvitz.

Wong Ping (b. 1984, Hong Kong) lives and works in Hong Kong, and founded the Wong Ping Animation Lab in 2014. He has had recent solo exhibitions at SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah, GA (2020); Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami (2019); Camden Arts Centre, London (2019); and Kunsthalle Basel (2019). His work has been included in group exhibitions at numerous venues, including Tai Kwun, Hong Kong (2019); 5th Ural Industrial Biennial, Ekaterinburg, Russia (2019); Today Art Museum, Beijing (2018); Times Art Center Berlin (2018); 6th Athens Biennial (2018); Changwon Sculpture Biennial, South Korea (2018); Sifang Art Museum, Nanjing, China (2018); Alt Space Loop, Seoul (2018); Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (2018); Haus der elektronischen Künste Basel (2018); and Arts Centre Melbourne (2017). His films have screened at many festivals and institutions, including London Short Film Festival, International Film Festival Rotterdam, Sundance Film Festival, Hong Kong International Film Festival, Kurzfilm Festival Hamburg, Centre Pompidou, and Artists’ Film Biennial. Wong was the recipient of the inaugural Camden Arts Centre Emerging Arts Prize at Frieze in 2018.

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