May 23 2014

Entering The Post Apocalypse with Ming Wong

by The Editors

Ming Wong in action at Nadim Abbas’s Apocalypse Postponed: Absolut Art Bar, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, May 14, 2014. Photo by Ann Woo for ArtAsiaPacific

In the dark recesses of Hong Kong artist Nadim Abbas’s post-apocalyptic bunker-themed bar—situated on the 17th floor of an unfinished mall in Causeway Bay—visitors during Art Basel in Hong Kong last week were met with an arousing persona. At 11 o’clock in the evening, or thereabouts, a pink bionic anime character alighted from the shoulders of two figures, both shrouded in black, before taking the stage to perform a stirring set. Crooning eerie versions of well-known pop songs, and pairing these with disjointed robotic dance movements, it was impossible for visitors to tell who might be beneath the mask. Those more savvy with art-world goings-on, however, might have recognised the antics of Singapore-born, Berlin-based artist Ming Wong, whose frequent pla(y)giarisms of scripts revive historical figures both real and imagined, challenging the prescribed roles available to Asian men today. Below is a montage of clips from the night’s performance taken from the iPhone of AAP photo editor, Ann Woo.