Wong Ping

Stay, work, participate and be alert. An Interview with Wong Ping on Hong Kong

In the light of recent events in Hong Kong, we talked to artist Wong Ping about change, uncertainty and future scenarios on the island everybody is talking about.
by Claudia Malfitano
February 26, 2020
Claudia Malfitano
Wong Ping

You were born and live in Hong Kong. The gallery that represents you, Edouard Malingue is based in Hong Kong. How are you dealing with the current situation? How are the recent events changing your everyday life as a citizen and as an artist?

Me and the people around me, no matter what side we are on, we are both not happy about the situation, obviously. To be honest it is not a situation that happened all of a sudden. The bubble has been building up for years after the handover. Stay, work, participate and be alerted.

Wong Ping, Installation view, "Dear can I give you a hand?", 2018

Your work often engages the audience in narrations about sex, politics and social relations: how is the current political situation affecting your work? Do you think your work will be influenced in the future by the new political order?

Emotionally for sure it affects me. But I found it hard to make a point or comment on the current situation with my work. Things happened and changed rapidly not only for Hong Kong but also in the international relations. I was invited to do show in mainland China last year. They informed us the show was cancelled 2 weeks before the opening due to the current political situation, it is a sensitive time to have a show by artists from Hong Kong and Taiwan. It was a relief to me that I didn’t have to go and get censored. It also leaves me in doubt about the power of art in our contemporary times. These issues need time to sit and be digested.

Wong Ping, "Premature Elephant", 2018

You collaborated in the past with Nadim Abbas, Lee Kit and Chantal Wong who are both very international and very active in the local art scene. Where do you think the local art scene is going?

There is a huge creativity energy in the city with the current political situation. Posters, slogans, memes and different ways of protesting happening everywhere on the streets. It’s gonna be good to see the bounce-back energy from certain compression later.

What are you currently working on? What are your plans for the future?

I am currently writing my next short. It’s been a while since I made something personal.
I focused on making Fables for kids in the past years. I hate plans.

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