Isaac Chong Wai: What is the future in the past? And what is the past in the future?

Isaac Chong Wai: What is the future in the past? And what is the past in the future?


Isaac Chong Wai, Neue Wache, 2015. Archival pigment print, 22,5 x 40 cm.

September 3, 2019
Isaac Chong Wai
What is the future in the past? And what is the past in the future?
September 6–November 9, 2019
Opening: September 5, 6pm
Performance: September 5, 7:30pm, pietas, 2019
Zilberman Berlin
Goethestraße 82
10623 Berlin
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Zilberman Gallery, Berlin is pleased to announce the exhibition What is the future in the past? And what is the past in the future? by Berlin and Hong Kong based artist, Isaac Chong Wai, marking the artist’s first solo show in Berlin.

Contemplating imaginary pasts and looking at possible futures from the point of the present, the drawings, sculptures, site-specific installations and performances of the artist deal with the concealed perils of the public, the hidden available to our gaze. While normative narratives practice a certain rhetoric, Chong’s works beckon us through dilemmas; turning assumed truths on their heads and inviting us to participate in dialogues of vulnerability and resilience. His pieces often play with time, memory and propose performance as a commemorative tool for the future. In Chong’s work violence and poetry intermingle, while the artist visits the history of Germany. Taking historical sites as the spaces of memory, Chong addresses complex research on how the body transforms in public space and uses alternating mediums to reflect on layers of historical memory.

In most of the pieces of the show, we see the artist performing—using his breath to cover the window, painting on mirror to create a moon, dating a guy, covering and casting the bullet holes—except the opening performance pietas (2019). Different from how normally we perceive the image of Pietà in the Christian world, in Chong’s version the person who is holding the dead body is the one who is crying and two bodies shift this role repetitively. When the dead is crying instead of the alive, what does it tell about our world, about its history and rhythms?

In parallel to the exhibition Chong will be presenting the project I Made a Boat in Prison–A Journey to the Shore at the projects space of Zilberman Gallery in Istanbul, opening on September 10, 2019. 

The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue with contributions by Pauline Doutreluingne, Caroline Ha Thuc, and Lotte Laub.

For more inquiries, please contact: goksu [​at​]

Isaac Chong Wai (b. 1990, China) works and lives in Berlin and Hong Kong. Chong graduated from Academy of Visual Arts at Hong Kong Baptist University with a BA in Visual Arts and Bauhaus-Universität in Weimar, Germany, with a MFA in Public Art and New Artistic Strategies. His most recent solo exhibitions include: Is the World Your Friend? (Blindspot Gallery, Hong Kong, 2019), An Artistic Archive of Borders (Kunstraum München, Munich, Germany, 2018), Future of the Past – Past of the Future (Goethe Institut Hong Kong, Hong Kong, 2018), What is the future in the past? And what is the past in the future? (Bauhaus Museum, Weimar, Germany, 2016). His selected group exhibitions include: Living Sound—Expanding the extramusical (Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Taipei, Taiwan, 2019), The Racing Will Continue, The Dancing Will Stay (Guangdong Times Museum, Guangzhou, China, 2019), Imaginary Bauhaus Museum (Schiller Museum, Weimar, Germany, 2019), M+ Live Art Audience As Performer (M+ Museum, Hong Kong, 2018), The D-Tale: Video Art from the Pearl River Delta (Times Art Center, Berlin, Germany, 2018), KOTODAMA (Para Site, Hong Kong, 2018), Forecast Forum (Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, Germany, 2017), Moscow International Biennale for Young Art, A Time for Dreams (National Centre for Contemporary Arts (NCCA), Moscow Museum of Modern Art (MMOMA) and Museum of Moscow, Moscow, Russia, 2014).

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September 3, 2019

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