Past Exhibition

Ming Wong - Me in Me

The Shiseido Gallery is pleased to commission and host a solo exhibition by artist Ming Wong, titled Me in Me, from July 6 through September 22, 2013.

Ming Wong, born in Singapore in 1971, is currently based in Berlin. He is known for placing himself into reconstructions of emblematic World Cinema masterpieces from various genres, integrating his own new interpretations of their dialogues, narratives, and performance techniques in a unique approach, in which the inevitable differences from the originals highlight issues of racial and cultural identity, gender, language, and nationality.

At the Venice Biennale in 2009, Ming Wong's solo show in the Singapore Pavilion received a Special Mention award, the highest accolade ever accorded any Singaporean artist on that art platform. Following this success, he continued exhibiting internationally, presenting works at the Sydney Biennial (2010), the Gwangju Biennial (2010), the Singapore Biennial (2011), and the Liverpool Biennial (2012), garnering critical acclaim and becoming one of Singapore's most representative artists.

Singapore, since its Independence in1965, remains today a highly cosmopolitan society that is multi-racial, multi-lingual and multi-faith. While Ming Wong is ethnically Chinese, he grew up with a fondness for Malay films made in 50's Singapore, Bollywood cinema, Western film and television - and through these and other pluralistic forms of contacts, he developed a particular sense of being “Singaporean” that is distinct from diasporic Chinese living elsewhere. In an interview with ART iT magazine, he states: “I think I make all of what I do because I come from Singapore, and lived there through a certain period in its history, and that continues to define me.” Ming Wong's personal formation hence serves as impetus for many major themes of his work, including racial, cultural and national identity and issues of language and bodily behaviours. His hybridized work offers astute viewpoints on the socio-cultural conditions that we face in the midst of the global modern society.

For Shiseido Gallery's commission, Ming Wong presents a film installation inspired by Japanese cinema and traditional performing arts. This is a realization of his long-time desire to spend time in Japan to research and create a work inspired by the richness of Japanese culture. He examines the history of Japanese silver screen from three genre perspectives: “Jidai-geki (historical),” “Gendai-geki (modern),” and “Anime.” He notes that “Western films exist as an extension of photography, whereas Japanese films are more extensions of kabuki, noh, and other traditional performing arts”. In Me in Me, he uses the distinctive performance, camera work, and narrative-setting of these three cinematic worlds to express representative aspects of Japanese film.

For “Jidai-geki,” he uses a flat set that conveys little depth of field, with flat camera work set directly opposite to the stage to capture his kabuki performance as a woman in a classic revenge role. For “Gendai-geki,” he harks back to the golden age of Japanese film greats like Yasujiro Ozu and Mikio Naruse, and takes Japan's era of economic boom as the backdrop for showing the struggles of women and the complicated relationships between fathers and daughters. And for “Anime,” he turns to Japanese animated films (like Neon Genesis Evangelion, Metropolis, and Ghost in the Shell) with their characteristic psychological elements, to create the story of an android protagonist on a quest to regain memories of a girl as a high school student. In the style of film trailers, Ming Wong has created archetypal characters of Japanese cinema and performs all of them himself, allowing his own awkward articulations of the lines in Japanese and his own physical characteristics to bring inherent characteristics like gender, age, language, and race into view.

The Shiseido Gallery cordially invites you to witness the premiere of the first work that Ming Wong has created in Japan - a unique installation of newly-created films inspired by the world of Japanese film.

Ming Wong CV

1971  Born in Singapore and currently lives in Berlin

1995  Graduated from Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Singapore (Chinese Art)

2007  MFA degree in Fine Art Media, Slade School of Fine Art, University College London

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2012 Ming Wong: Making Chinatown, REDCAT, Los Angeles, US
I Should Be Like You, Galerie carlier | gebauer, Berlin, Germany
2011 Persona Performa, Performa 11 at the Museum of the Moving Image, New York, US
Life of Imitation, Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, Japan
Devo partire. Domani / I must go. Tomorrow, Villa Romana, Florence, Italy
Ming Wong's CYCLORAMA, Vitamin Creative Space, Guangzhou, China
Life of Imitation, Frye Art Museum, Seattle, Washington D.C., US
2010 Gruppenbild, Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, Berlin, Germany
Devo partire. Domani / I must go. Tomorrow, Napoli Teatro Festival, PAN, Naples, Italy
Life of Imitation, Singapore Art Museum, Singapore
Life & Death in Venice, Invaliden1 Galerie, Berlin, Germany & Hermès Gallery, Singapore
2009 Life of Imitation, Singapore Pavilion, 53rd Venice Biennale, Italy
Vain Efforts, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney, Australia
2008 Angst Essen - Eat Fear, Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin, Germany

Selected Group Exhibitions/Screenings

2012 Liverpool Biennial, Liverpool, UK
Encounter, Experience and Environment, Gillman Barracks, Singapore
Ming Wong: Making Chinatown, Toronto International Film Festival,Toronto, Canada
A trip to the Moon. Before and after Cinema, Bonnierskonsthall, Stockholm, Sweden
2011 Berlin 2000-2011: Playing among the ruins, Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, Japan
Rollenbilder-Rollenspiele, Museum der Moderne Salzburg, Austria
Invisibleness is Visibleness, MOCA Taipei, Taiwan
Knotting: Swarm in the Era of Digital Media, National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taichung, Taiwan
Biji Diva!, In Transit 2011, House of World Cultures, Berlin, Germany
Based in Berlin, Atelierhaus Monbijoupark, Berlin, Germany
Singapore Biennale, Singapore
2010 Unspooling-Artists & Cinema, Cornerhouse, Manchester, UK
Essential Cinema, Toronto International Film Festival, Canada
Gwangju Biennale, Gwangju, Korea
Sydney Biennale, Cockatoo Island, Sydney, Australia
The Fate of Irony, KAI10, Düsseldorf, Germany
Searching Songs, Yebisu International Festival for Arts & Alternative Visions, Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Japan
2009 Playing Homage, Vancouver Contemporary Art Gallery, Canada
Jakarta Biennale, Indonesian National Gallery, Indonesia
2008 Das Piraterieproblem, Brandenburgischer Kunstverein Potsdam, Germany
Vertraut oder Verdaut, ZKM Center for Art & Media, Karlsruhe, Germany

Selected Awards

2009 Special Mention (Expanding Worlds), 53rd Venice Biennale
2007-08 Künstlerhaus Bethanien International Studio Program, Berlin, Germany
2003-05 Pearson Creative Research Fellowship, at the British Library, UK

Works to be displayed

  • Ming Wong
    Me in Me, 2013
    Multi-Channel Video Installation
    Courtesy of the artist

Gallery Talk by Ming Wong and Tang Fu Kuen, Co-Curator of This Exhibition

Schedule: July 6, 2013 (Sat), 2:00PM – 4:00PM
Location: Word Shiseido, Tokyo Ginza Shiseido Building 9th Floor
Capacity: 60 guests
Participation Fee: None
Inquiries: Shiseido Gallery (Tel 03-3572-3901 or Fax 03-3572-3951)

Exhibition Details for Ming Wong — Me in Me

Organized by: Shiseido
Supported by: Embassy of the Republic of Singapore
Grant from: National Arts Council, Singapore
Singapore International Foundation
In Cooperation With: Graduate School of Film and New Media, Tokyo University of the Arts
BankART 1929
Koganecho Area Management Center (NPO)
Kanagawa Arts Foundation
Trixta Co., Ltd.
Duration: July 6th (Sat) to September 22nd (Sun), 2013
Hours: Weekdays 11:00 AM - 7:00 PM,
Sundays and national holidays 11:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Closed Mondays
(Closed between August 12th (Mon) and 16th (Fri) due to summer holidays.)
Location: Shiseido Gallery
Tokyo Ginza Shiseido Building, B1, 8-8-3 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-0061
Tel: 03-3572-3901; Fax: 03-3572-3951
Admission is free

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