After a hiatus of several years, artist-turned-social activist Wong Hoy Cheong has finally consented to stage his latest solo exhibition, On Unlearning And Relearning, which opens on Feb 16 from 7pm-9pm.
In collaboration with OUR ArtProjects directors Liza Ho and Snow Ng, Wong will showcase four decades of his works on paper.
According to the press release from Our ArtProjects, this exhibition showcases four decades of Wong Hoy Cheong's paper-based work — studies fundamental to the artist's work process, on which he was able to build an interdisciplinary practice — which spans performance art, installation and video documentary; later photography and film.
The statement adds: "Even as Hoy Cheong did not shy away from expressing his thoughts and concepts through different artistic mediums, he often turned to drawing and sketching as a tool to express some of the foundational ideas and concepts he is thinking through.
"In recent years, art has taken a back seat as Hoy Cheong takes on a more active role in politics and policy-making. This may well be Hoy Cheong's final exhibition of never-before-seen paper-based works. For visitors who are familiar with Hoy Cheong's work, the exhibition can be seen as a mini-survey of his practice."
The exhibition is touted to show, "another side of Hoy Cheong as an artist...through a body of work that exemplifies a form of practised diligence."
Though Wong is known primarily as a conceptual artist worldwide, here the aesthetic potential of visual expression does not stop at formal experimentation, it can also help an artist clarify an artistic concept and shape political content.
Wong Hoy Cheong (b. 1960, Georgetown, Penang) is a visual artist, educator, and political activist. He has exhibited widely in Asia, Australia and Europe. In 2011, he was awarded the prestigious Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Fellowship. Deutsche Bank Headquarters in Frankfurt named its 35th floor after him. In 1999, Asiaweek named him as one of the Ten Art and Culture “Leaders of the Next Millennium”. Cornell University named a scholarship after him for his work as an educator in 1993.
Working in a wide range of visual media, Wong addresses concerns about indigeneity, the retrieval of marginalised histories, migration and globalisation; and the slipperiness that lies between fact and fiction, past and present.
Wong had two solo exhibitions at the National Visual Arts Gallery, Malaysia (1996 and 2004), and at other venues around the world including Kunsthalle Wien, Austria (2003); Pitt Rivers Museum, United Kingdom (2004); NUS Museum, Singapore (2008); and Eslite Gallery, Taiwan (2010).
His work has also been included in group exhibitions including Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, Australia (1996); Art in Southeast Asia: Glimpses into the Future, Japan (1997); Fukuoka Asian Art Triennale, Japan (1999 and 2009); Venice Biennale, Italy (2003); Liverpool Biennial, United Kingdom (2004); Guangzhou Triennial, China (2005); Istanbul Biennial, Turkey (2007); Taipei Biennial, Taiwan (2008); Lyon Biennale of Contemporary Art, France (2009); Negotiating Home, History, and Nation, Singapore Art Museum (2011); No Country, Guggenheim Museum, New York (2012); and Ural Industrial Biennial of Contemporary Art, Ekaterinburg, Russia (2015).
Most recently, he was commissioned to create a new installation for the National Gallery of Singapore to feature his video work Re:Looking (2002-2003).
Founded as an art consultancy and project platform in 2013, OUR ArtProjects now operates a gallery space located in a row of restored c.1950s interconnected shophouses, in Kampung Attap, Kuala Lumpur.
The building once housed the Selangor Zhongshan Association, and is now becoming an exciting arts hub.
OUR ArtProjects focus on identifying important practices in Malaysian art as well as producing compelling and engaging exhibitions. The aim is also to introduce significant art practices that have emerged in neighbouring countries.