Wong Kit Yi: Double Time
New York-based conceptual artist Wong Kit Yi shares a website, apartment, and body with her business manager Ali Wong. “Kit Yi” was born in Hong Kong in 1982 and named as such by her parents following the advice of a feng-shui master. “Ali” came about when a British expatriate teacher, who had trouble remembering Chinese names, assigned the moniker to her in class . . . Read more [PDF]
Video Tour of "Up Close – Hollywood Road"
An exhibition of contemporary artworks displayed alongside antiques, “Up Close – Hollywood Road” unfolded along Hong Kong’s second oldest street, which is famed for its shops brimming with curios and historical artifacts. I interviewed the curators and shopkeepers about the history of the neighborhood, and the artworks, which reflect on the veracity of historical narratives, diasporic experiences, and the romanticism of collecting. Watch the video here.
Shahidul Alam: Bearer of Evidence, Conveyor of Feeling
On August 5, 2018, Dhaka-based photographer, educator and activist Shahidul Alam was arrested for publicly speaking against the Bangladeshi government’s crackdown on student-led protests advocating for road safety. In the photographs of him being dragged away by police, emerging from a car on his way to court, and eventually walking out of jail after being granted bail, he is depicted with his fist thrust in the air . . . Read more here.
Video Interview with Luke Ching, Artist-Citizen
What can artists do to strengthen the social fabrics of communities? For Hong Kong-based Luke Ching, theorizing and observing are not enough. Since 2013, Ching has served stints as a security guard, cleaner, and wet-market hawker in order to physically experience and understand the roles of these workers in society. In parallel, he initiated campaigns for the rights of service employees to sit during their shifts. I asked Ching about non-hierarchical approaches to solving labor issues, and how to build empathy. Watch the video here.
Shubigi Rao: Stories of Creation and Destruction
Why do some people abet authoritarianism? What ideas might be repressed in democracies? How much of ourselves do we really know? These questions don't have singular resolutions, but for Shubigi Rao, hints can be found in the voices that books contain and in the perspectives we censor. “I don’t valorize books,” Rao emphasizes, for they can hold dangerous, destructive ideas as much as beautiful ones . . . Read more [PDF].
Carlos Celdran: Art in Exile
Carlos Celdran’s career in art began when he joined Business Day as a political cartoonist in 1986, aged 14. Five years later, after a term at the Fine Arts Department of the University of the Philippines Diliman, he transferred to the Rhode Island School of Design in the United States, where he began to explore performance art, interning with the comedic troupe Blue Man Group and the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company. As an activist and artist, Celdran . . . Read more here.
Douglas So: Decisive Moments
What’s in a moment? For those who wield cameras, a single instant can reveal a whole story. This is also the case with Hong Kong-born and based collector Douglas So. His moment began in 1997, when his wife gave him the Leica M6 camera that would instantaneously spark his obsession with the brand of complex instruments. The ever-curious So didn’t stop there, however. Read more [PDF].
Izumi Kato: Where I Work
To find Japanese multimedia artist Izumi Kato’s Hong Kong studio, I had to walk along a circuitous white corridor past a seemingly endless stretch of identical metal doors. This disorienting passageway, coiled inside an industrial building on the isolated southern tip of Hong Kong Island, could have easily been the movie set for a psychological thriller . . . Read more [PDF].
Burcak Bingol: Where I Work
Istanbul is a palimpsest. From Byzantine to Persian kings, countless conquerors looking to expand their empires have lusted after the city for its strategically advantageous positioning on the mouth of the Bosporus Strait, which leads to the Black Sea. Each time a successful colonizer staked their banner on its lands, they also left their traces on the metropolis’s culture and architecture, often effacing . . . Read more [PDF].