• Issue
  • Jun 28, 2024

Up Close: Stephen Wong Chun Hei

STEPHEN WONG CHUN HEI, The Star Ferry Tale, 2024, acrylic on canvas, 180 × 990 cm, 11 panels. Courtesy the artist and Gallery Exit, Hong Kong.

In Stephen Wong Chun Hei’s ten-meter-wide, 11-panel painting The Star Ferry Tale (2024), the cloud-covered urban metropolis and surrounding countryside of Hong Kong lie peacefully under a picturesque starry night. Above the horizon several asteroids act as sites of reenactment of soon-to-be or already-vanished spaces that symbolize this city: Jumbo Floating Restaurant, Edinburgh Place Ferry Pier, Queen’s Pier, neon street signs, and a retro train carriage. Look closely enough and you’ll even see a miniature version of the artist painting a canvas on a distant rock. Most notably, the iconic Star Ferry, a recurring motif in Wong’s recent paintings, hovers weightless and upside down in the stratosphere. 

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