Ming Wong: An Interview

Video Data Bank

2015 | 01:08:32 | United States | English | Color | Stereo | 16:9 | HD video

Collection: On Art and Artists, Single Titles

Tags: Art History, Autobiography, Body, Experimental Film, Film Theory, Gender, Hollywood, Interview, LGBTQ, Language, Performance, Post-colonialism, Sexuality, VDB Interviews

Ming Wong creates videos that explore performance and issues of race and gender. Born in Singapore of Chinese heritage, and now based in Berlin, his work examines cross-cultural experiences by appropriating scenes of iconic world cinema. Wong casts himself anachronistically as the star, critically exposing the otherness of the relationship of media and world history.

Wong is asked about the multiplicity of being Chinese, growing up in Singapore, and how it relates to taking on different characters in his films. He reflects on the geographic specificity of his work, how certain references are lost in certain places, especially in his ethnographic home of China because of its limited socialist culture. He recalls an interesting anecdote that prompted him to study his Chinese ethnicity: on a trip to the National Palace Museum in Taiwan, he overheard a teacher asking his young students some questions about China. Wong saw the students excitedly raising their hands to answer, and felt ashamed because he did not know the answers himself.  He further talks about his relationship to language, growing up in Singapore, where there is no home language.

This interview was conducted by Alsdorf Professor of South and Southeast Asian Art History Professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Nora Annesley Taylor.

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