Morgan Wong’s practice focuses on durational performance. He is interested in the nature of time and challenging social and political norms. After completing a Master of Fine Arts degree focusing on sculpture at Slade School of Fine Art, he began to apply sculptural practice to his work.
Notable projects include the award-winning installation Alliance, 2007, which combined a motion-tracking system with a word database directed by the viewer’s movement. Represented by Chinese characters projected onto a screen, the word relationships could be created or destroyed, depending on the viewer’s activity. In 2013, Wong began the ongoing work Filing Down a Steel Bar Until a Needle Is Made, which was shown at the 8th Shenzhen Sculpture Biennale. Inspired by a traditional Chinese allegory on one’s determination and volition, he confined himself to a room for forty-eight hours and began the monotonous task of filing down a steel bar (measured to his height and weight) to the size of a sewing needle.
The Remnant of My Volition (Force Majeure), being shown in this exhibition, follows Wong’s meditative act of peeling off more than fifty-thousand red-flag stickers to reveal empty flag-shaped spaces symbolic of a sarcastic surrender to patriotism under “one country, two systems” amid “Chinese reunification.” The work speaks of the ad hoc status of Hong Kong which, in Wong’s view, is transforming into a fictional nation under the irrepressibility of time. Referring to the video’s title, he says: “If volition means making a conscious choice, volition is never really conscious in the end in a place deprived of the power or confidence of self-rule.”
Wong’s work has been exhibited around the world, including at the Tate Modern, London; the Hong Kong Museum of Art and Para Site, Hong Kong; the Gwangju Museum of Art, Korea; the ZKM | Media Museum, Karlsruhe, Germany; Soka Art Center, Taipei; the Fremantle Art Centre, Australia; 18th International Contemporary Art Festival Sesc_Videobrasil and Liste 17, Basel.
In 2014, the artist showed The Remnant of My Volition (Force Majeure) at Art Basel Hong Kong’s Encounters section, curated by Yuko Hasegawa. In 2015 his work will be included in the inaugural exhibition of the Shanghai 21st Century Minsheng Art Museum (M21).
Born in Hong Kong, 1984 | Lives and works in Hong Kong
Video still from The Remnant of My Volition (Force Majeure), 2014, HD, color, no sound, 72 minutes, 8 seconds
With thanks to Pearl Lam Galleries.