2015.6.11 - 2015.8.9 Central Gallery and Nave
The art of Ming Wong (b. 1971, Singapore) has evolved around the reproduction of scenes lifted from filmic classics, altering them with the singularity of his face and bodily gestures, revealing the limits of subjectivity and difference through repetition. This exhibition centers on two new works by Wong. The Central Gallery features his film 明年| Next Year | L'Année Prochaine, a reinterpretation of Last Year in Marienbad (1961) written by Alain Robbe-Grillet with direction by Alain Resnais.
In the original cinematic masterpiece, time functions like a constellation, loosely strung together by the vague memories of the three main characters. In Wong’s adaptation, the artist’s role reversals compound this dilemma, simultaneously mending and rending the narrative. Through distinct venues found in Shanghai’s French Concession—including Marienbad Café and Fuxing Park, which was built on the basis of Le Parc de la Tête d'Or in Lyon—the film alludes to an historical layering of foreign influence in China’s visual culture, offering the city as a portrait of heterotopia deeply resonating with the temporal fragmentation of Last Year in Marienbad.
Scenography for a Chinese Science Fiction Opera, a mixed media installation commissioned for UCCA, occupies the Nave, transforming the passage into a gradation from a dark spaceship to a kaleidoscopic, bright “universe.” If the former takes its inspiration from early sci-fi movies released during the Cold War Space Race, in which dark spaces symbolized both a fear of and a desire to conquer the future, the latter comes from the cloud motifs found in traditional Chinese aesthetics, expressing a cosmology of immateriality. The corridor is a staple of film sets in sci-fi cinema, usually seen in spaceship interiors.