January 22, 2012 - REDCAT - Ming Wong: Making Chinatown
January 22, 2012

Ming Wong: Making Chinatown

Ming Wong, study for “Making Chinatown,” 2012. Courtesy the artist.

Ming Wong
Making Chinatown

February 5–April 1, 2012

Opening:
Saturday, February 4, 6–9pm

REDCAT
631 West 2nd Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012

www.redcat.org

For his first solo exhibition in Los Angeles, Ming Wong creates a series of videos and scenic backdrops that center around the making of Roman Polanski’s seminal 1974 film Chinatown. Shot on location in the Gallery at REDCAT, Wong’s reinterpretation, Making Chinatown, transforms the exhibition space into a studio backlot and examines the original film’s constructions of language, performance and identity. With the artist cast in the roles originally played by Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, John Huston and Belinda Palmer, key scenes are reenacted in front of printed backdrops that are digitally rendered from film stills and kept intact within the video installation. The wall flats adhere to the conventions of theatrical and filmic staging while taking on qualities of large-scale painting and sculpture.

Wong has been recognized internationally for his ambitious performance and video works that engage with the history of world cinema and popular forms of entertainment. Working through the visual styles and tropes of such iconic film directors as Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Wong Kar-wai and Ingmar Bergman, Wong’s practice considers the means through which subjectivity and geographic location are constructed by motion pictures. Making Chinatown is Wong’s first project focused on the American context of filmmaking and draws upon Polanski’s iconic film for its use of Los Angeles as a versatile and malleable character. Wong treats the film as a text through which he is able to inhabit and impersonate the qualities that are particular to the place it represents. Making Chinatown mimics and reduces the techniques of mainstream cinema in order to emphasize the theatrical qualities that underlie cinematic artifice.

Ming Wong (b. 1971, Singapore) currently lives and works in Berlin. Recent solo exhibitions have taken place at the Museum of Moving Image, Queens, New York, as part of Performa 11; Vitamin Creative Space, Guangzhou, China; the Frye Art Museum, Seattle; the Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo; and the Singapore Art Museum. He has been included in such notable exhibitions as based in Berlin at Atelierhaus Monbijoupark in Berlin; the 2010 Gwangju Biennial; and in 2009 at the Singaporean Pavilion for the 53rd Venice Biennale.

Ming Wong: Making Chinatown is funded in part with generous support from Stacy and John Rubeli; Alan Hergott and Curt Shepard; and Vitamin Creative Space. Additional support provided by Guest Haus Residency, Los Angeles.

Gallery at REDCAT aims to support, present, commission and nurture new creative insights through dynamic projects and challenging ideas. The Gallery presents five exhibitions every year, often of newly commissioned work that represents the artist’s first major presentation in the U.S. or Los Angeles. The Gallery also maintains an active publishing program producing as many as two major monographs per year. Proceeding from the geographic and cultural specificities of Los Angeles, its program emphasizes artistic production of the Pacific Rim—namely Mexico, Central and South America and Asia—as regions that are of vital significance to California. The Gallery aims to facilitate dialogue between local and international artists contributing to a greater understanding of the social, political and cultural contexts that inform contemporary artistic practice.

Gallery at REDCAT is open Tuesdays through Sundays from noon to 6:00pm or until intermission. It is closed Mondays and major holidays. Admission to the Gallery at REDCAT is always free.

REDCAT is located at the corner of W. 2nd and Hope Streets, inside the Walt Disney Concert Hall complex in downtown Los Angeles (631 West 2nd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012).

REDCAT presents Ming Wong: Making Chinatown
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