Rossi & Rossi presents Cromniomancy, a collaborative exhibition by Adrian Wong and Shane Aspegren. Inspired by the concept of cymatics, or the study of wave phenomena, the themes in Cromniomancy are concerned with divination, and can be seen as a continuation of a series of interventions presented under the collective name The Glorious Phoenix. The works take a number of different forms, including prints, rugs, video and sound.
The imagery in Cromniomancy suggests exploration of frequencies and cosmic divination. The word ‘cromniomancy’ refers to the practice of divination by onions. While its natural patterning is not unlike the shapes found within cymatics, the sphere within a sphere of the onion is also symbolic of eternity. Likewise containing healing and medicinal properties, the onion has been associated with esoteric forms of mysticism throughout history.
A related series of projects by the artists launched earlier in the year, Third Eye Kaleidoscope aimed to trace the development of eastern spiritual beliefs into the modern New Age Movement and its related principles and practices, specifically in the context of Hong Kong. Gaining popularity the West in the 1960’s and 70’s, New Ageism was fueled by an influx of Eastern philosophies, propagating an alternative to the normative structures of the Judeo-Christian framework. These philosophies were inevitably melded with various homegrown forms of mysticism, to yield its dizzying constellation of pantheistic and hybridized forms—forms that have now made their way back East. Third Eye Kaleidoscope was an investigation into these new renditions of New Ageist beliefs or, as the artists call it, The New New Age. The project occurred over three days, as three different events at three different locations in the city. These interventions predominantly involved bathing the audience in sound and light, speculating the ideas of cosmic frequencies, harmony, and rituals.
An evolving shift from the earlier projects of Third Eye Kaleidoscope, Cromniomancy—through a curated body of work consisting of an animated and narrated video, printed images encased in frames emitting sound and rugs designed around the aforementioned concepts—delivers an equally immersive experience.
Cromniomancy is presented in partnership with Yallay Gallery.
Adrian Wong (b. 1980) is a Hong Kong-based artist and the co-founder and director of Embassy Projects, an arts consultancy and independent production studio. Born and raised in Chicago, he originally trained in research psychology. In 2005, he moved to Hong Kong after receiving his MFA from Yale University.
Wong has exhibited internationally at major institutions, including Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, Japan; Post Museum, Singapore; and The Witte De With Center for Contemporary Art, Netherlands. He has had significant solo exhibitions in Hong Kong including Rodentia in Absentia at Saamlung Gallery (2012) and A Fear Is This at 1A Gallery (2007). His travelling exhibitions include Troglodyte See the Light, which showed at LTD Los Angeles and Osage Gallery, Hong Kong (2012); Hong Kong Eye, which showed at the Saatchi Gallery, London, UK, and Artistree Art Space in Hong Kong. Wong’s films have been screened at notable festivals including Internationale Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen, Oberhausen, Germany (2011), Bangkok Experimental Film Festival, Bangkok, Thailand (2008), and Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, Austria (2010).
Wong’s work is included in the Uli Sigg Collection (Lucerne), the Dominique and Sylvain Levy Collection (Paris), the Kadist Foundation Collection (San Francisco), and Hong Kong Museum of Art (Hong Kong). He is also the recipient of the Sovereign Asian Art Prize 2014, and the Xian Rui Artist Excellence Award in San Francisco 2012.
Shane Aspegren (b. 1975) is a Hong Kong based music & multi-media artist. Born and raised in Nebraska, he began working with a diverse list of European & North American electronic, pop and experimental projects while pursuing a degree in film.
Moving to Paris in 2000, he co-formed the internationally acclaimed analogue-electronics/brut-percussion duo The Berg Sans Nipple, releasing seven LP/EPs and making hundreds of performances from European festivals (such as Primavera Sound, All Tomorrow’s Parties, etc.) to the Whitney Museum. In addition to his own music projects, he has collaborated on dozens of other albums, world tours & one-off projects with artists as diverse as Bright Eyes, Woodkid, Songs:Ohia, Francoiz Breut, Lullaby For The Working Class, Don Nino, Julien Doré, Dominique A, Arto Lindsay and many more. Aspegren’s current music projects include Blood Wine or Honey, Pando’s People, Ça Va Chéri and a free-improvisation duo with dj sniff.
Throughout that time, Aspegren has explored the various intersections between sound, image and performance. In addition to sound design and soundtrack work for a number of commercial and theatrical releases, his works include video, photography, installation & performance, which have been presented or screened at Art Basel (Hong Kong), Anthology Film Archives (NYC), Hyde Park Art Center (Chicago), Athens Biennale (Greece), Festival International du Cinéma Méditerranéen (Montpellier), Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago) and more.