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4th Kochi-Muziris Biennale: Possibilities for a Non-Alienated Life Ocula Report 4th Kochi-Muziris Biennale: Possibilities for a Non-Alienated Life 15 Feb 2019 : Natalie King for Ocula

'Poems are like sentences that have taken their clothes off.' Marlene Dumas' poetic and sensual refrain accompanies her figurative watercolours on view in Possibilities for a Non-Alienated Life, the fourth edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale (KMB) in the southern state of Kerala, India (12 December 2018–29 March 2019).Dumas' new series...

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Ellen Altfest Ocula Conversation Ellen Altfest

The paintings of Ellen Altfest are ethereal in their detail. Fields of minutiae come together as pulsating images; small brushstrokes of oil paint accumulate over a series of months to single out seemingly innocuous subjects, such as a hand resting atop patterned fabric (The Hand, 2011) or a deep green cactus reaching upwards from beneath a bed of...

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Colomboscope 2019: Cross Currents and Dissonance Ocula Report Colomboscope 2019: Cross Currents and Dissonance 8 Feb 2019 : Nada Raza for Ocula

On the rooftop of the former Rio Hotel complex in Colombo, it was hard to ignore the high-rise buildings, still under construction, blocking all but a sliver of what used to be an open view over Slave Island, once an island on Beira Lake that housed slaves in the 19th century, and now a downtown suburb. The hotel was set alight during the...

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Wong Hoy Cheong

b. 1960, Malaysia

Wong Hoy Cheong challenges audiences to reconsider notions of ethnicity, indigeneity, colonialism, marginalised histories and community. Currently based in Kuala Lumpur, Wong's work is heavily formed by his upbringing in Malaysia, a country he views as one of the world's most multi-ethnic and multicultural.

Working across a wide range of media including drawing, painting, photography, video, installation and performance, Wong's work tends to be collaborative, bringing history together with intimacy. For his 2002 installation Re:Looking, he created a faux-documentary exploring the impact of the fictional former Malaysian Empire on postcolonial Austria. Presented in a Malaysian living room and riddled with misinformation and false claims, the 'documentary' addressed the subtle clichés of the media, and film industry's sway on public opinion.

Wong's practice is often concerned with exploring Malaysian identity in such indirect ways. For his 2008 'Maid in Malaysia' light box series, the artist photographed Malaysian housemaids in the guise of heroines from literature and Hollywood films. Characters included Joan of Arc, Lara Croft, Mary Poppins and Supergirl. This re-appropriation of Western popular culture into Malaysian life addresses the idea of 'norm' versus 'other', while at the same time celebrating seldom represented and often underpaid domestic workers. Similarly, in his 2006 'Chronicles of Crime' series, he offers a Malaysian take on classic film noir and gangster crime dramas.

Wong presented minority and immigrant communities at the forefront in his 2009 'Days of Our Lives' series. Named after the long-running US soap opera, the series comprised six photographs of domestic scenes from French paintings in the Lyon Museum of Fine Arts. In his photographs, Wong re-enacted and manipulated the paintings to depict the new face of Europeanness by replacing the original figures with migrants from former British colonies, such as Muslim Nigerians, Iranians, Turks and Burmese.

Wong's artistic practice is also influenced by his education in the United States, which provided a new perspective on his areas of concern. He received a Bachelor of Arts in literature in 1982 from Brandeis University, Massachusetts, a Master of Education in 1984 from Harvard University and a Master of Fine Arts in painting in 2011 from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He has exhibited at Singapore Art Museum (2011); Eslite Gallery, Taipei (2010); the Lyon Biennale (2009); and National Visual Arts Gallery, Kuala Lumpur (2004 and 1996). Among some of his accolades are, to name a few, receiving a Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center Residency Fellowship (2011), being named one of the ten art and culture Leaders of the Next Millennium by Asiaweek (1999) and Cornell University naming a scholarship after him in 1993 for his work as an educator.

Jessica Douglas | Ocula | 2018
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Featured Artworks

View All (27)
Re:Looking by Wong Hoy Cheong contemporary artwork Wong Hoy CheongRe:Looking, 2002-2003 Video
Eslite Gallery
Re: Looking by Wong Hoy Cheong contemporary artwork Wong Hoy CheongRe: Looking, 2002-2003 Video
Eslite Gallery
Doghole by Wong Hoy Cheong contemporary artwork Wong Hoy CheongDoghole, 2010 Single Channel HD Video
Eslite Gallery
Days of Our Lives (The Charity Lady) by Wong Hoy Cheong contemporary artwork Wong Hoy CheongDays of Our Lives (The Charity Lady), 2009 Digital Photographs on Coated Canvas
86 x 112 cm
Eslite Gallery
Days of Our Lives (Mother & Daughter) by Wong Hoy Cheong contemporary artwork Wong Hoy CheongDays of Our Lives (Mother & Daughter), 2009 Digital Photographs on Coated Canvas
112 x 86 cm
Eslite Gallery
Days of Our Lives (The Cruel Proprietor) by Wong Hoy Cheong contemporary artwork Wong Hoy CheongDays of Our Lives (The Cruel Proprietor), 2009 Digital Photographs on Coated Canvas
102 x 130 cm
Eslite Gallery
Days of Our Lives (Reading) by Wong Hoy Cheong contemporary artwork Wong Hoy CheongDays of Our Lives (Reading), 2009 Digital Photographs on Coated Canvas
83 x 112 cm
Eslite Gallery

Recent Exhibitions

Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Kotodama at Para Site, Hong Kong
Closed
16 June–26 August 2018 Group Exhibition Kotodama Para Site, Hong Kong

Represented By

In Related Press

The 21st Biennale of Sydney (2018) announces first 21 artists for its 45th anniversary exhibition Related Press The 21st Biennale of Sydney (2018) announces first 21 artists for its 45th anniversary exhibition 6 April 2017

The world-renowned Biennale of Sydney is back next year to celebrate its 45th anniversary exhibition. Set to maintain its status as the largest and best-attended contemporary arts event in Australia, the 21st Biennale of Sydney is anticipated to once again bring an impressive and diverse range of contemporary artists and artworks to the...

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