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Ming Wong: Life of Imitation
Written by In the document   
Published: May 08 2011

"Life of Imitation"
aclyric on canvas, 2009

An exhibition by the Berlin-based Singaporean artist Ming Wong (b. 1971), which won the Special Jury Mention Award at the 53rd Venice Biennale in 2009. This much lauded installation was restaged by the Singapore Art Museum with a new design and additional exhibits for Singaporean audiences and subsequently traveled the show to Seattle and Tasmania to much acclaim.

To be reconfigured to suit the unique space of the Hara Museum, the exhibition consists of three video installations that reenact scenes inspired by world cinema. These include films by P. Ramlee (1929-73), the father of Malay cinema and entertainment industry icon; Imitation of Life (1959) by Douglas Sirk (1897-1987), known for his Hollywood melodramas; and the Hong Kong film In the Mood for Love (2000) by Wong Kar Wai (1958-). Through the use of miscasting, mimicry and comical elements, Wong draws attention to such issues as race, cultural identity, gender and language.

Also included in the exhibition are billboards by Neo Chon Teck, Singapore‘s last cinema billboard painter, cinema memorabilia belonging to Singaporean collector Wong Han Min and images of classic cinema architecture captured by the artist in a series of Polaroid snapshots. In looking back on the Golden Era of Singaporean cinema (of the 1950s and 1960s), these works invite the viewer to ponder Singapore‘s multiracial, multilingual, and multicultural nature and the state of people living in a society undergoing rapid globalization.

* This exhibition first appeared at the 53rd Venice Biennale in 2009 (curated by Tang Fu Kuen). Its presentation at the Hara Museum is co-organized with the Singapore Art Museum.

Ming Wong
Ming Wong was born in Singapore in 1971. After being involved in the theater scene, he went on to study at Nanyang Academy of Fine Art and received a Diploma in Fine Arts (Chinese Art) from in 1995 and an MFA (Fine Arts/ Media) at the Slade School of Art, University College London in 1999. In 2008, Ming undertook a one year artist residency at the Kunstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin, Germany. Ming has made significant in-roads internationally with his participation in numerous group and solo visual arts exhibitions in Europe, North America and Asia. He is scheduled to exhibit work at the 2011 Singapore Biennale. He currently resides in Berlin and Singapore.

* The text provided by Hara Museum of Contemporary Art.

Dates; June 25 - August 28, 2011
Venue: Hara Museum of Contemporary Art

Last Updated on June 25 2011

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