Wong Wai Yin: Without Trying
Spring Workshop is thrilled to announce the first solo show in 5 years of established Hong Kong artist Wong Wai Yin. The exhibition Without Trying is all new work, and marks a change in the direction of Wong’s artistic practice as she introduces the profound ways that motherhood has transformed her personal convictions and philosophy on making art.
During her 5-year professional hiatus, Wong embarked on a learning adventure, taking lessons in dog training, spiritual response therapy (SRT), ukulele and French as she attempted to recalibrate herself to a new identity. The resulting videos, paintings and installations lay bare the ways in which she has come into terms with her fears and aspirations.
The works presented in Without Trying were created in part during her two-month residency at Spring Workshop this summer, and stem from ideas and life lessons she gleaned when the time and energy she had previously spent making art was usurped by childcare duties. With self-effacing humor, her videos dramatize the handful of ways in which she confronts her obstacles, which range from stomping on various foods to purge herself of negativity, to standing in 22-cm thick platforms in order to be taller than her partner, to filming herself in a permanent state of reincarnation where she surpasses personal hurdles via rebirth. Branching out from her personal catharses, Wong employs her newly-acquired SRT techniques on three close friends who are successful male figures on the regional art circuit to help them confront their own angst, and to figure out how they find purpose in making art.
In Wish You Were Eternal, an installation that enmeshes her old and new identities, Wong makes a grand gesture and annihilates a key obstacle tethering her to the past: her existing works. To say farewell to her creations, she invited a psychic medium to relay messages to her from the old works (2006 – 2013) before she chopped them up into shapes which she then entombed in a trio of wooden pyramids. As she lets go of—and simultaneously gives new life to— the relics of her past, Wong kicks off a new era in her life, where things happen without trying.
Wong Wai Yin is artist-in-residence at Spring Workshop from June through August 2016. The exhibition is curated by Christina Li, Director of Spring Workshop.
Photo courtesy of the organiser/s