Ming Wong


Ming Wong (b. 1971 in Singapore, living in Berlin) constructed his own world cinema by shifts of language and identity. Genres such as melodrama, film noir, dance or anime are dissected in performative videos and become the stage for queer politics and representation. Next to the Singaporean cinema of the 1950s, it is mainly classic films by directors such as Pier Paolo Pasolini, Douglas Sirk, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Ingmar Bergman, Ozu Yasujirō or P. Ramlee, which he restages and reinterprets. His re-enactments deliberately work with exaggeration and miscast. Thus all of the roles are played by male actors, mostly by Wong himself. In this way, he adds another accent to the social, ethnic or sexual aspects of identity treated in the movies. For his solo exhibition at Neuer Berliner Kunstverein in 2010, Ming Wong produced the video installation Kontakthope, a re-enactment of the dance piece Kontakthof (1978) by Pina Bausch. The original piece, one of the classics of modern dance, deals among others with closeness, loss, shame and anger - a field of emotional border crossing, in which the performers locate themselves with reduced movements. For the production of his interpretations Kontakthope, Wong invited 22 participants to a workshop, who there tried to develop this piece for themselves. While Pina Bausch had the piece repeatedly performed by amateur actors of different ages - young or elderly, Ming Wong chose people from his direct professional and private environment: artists and curators whom he is involved with in Berlin. The video documentary, in parallel, records rehearsal and performance of the danced analysis of interpersonal advances within a specific field of art. With a good dose of humor the spectator is confronted with a refined game of seduction and repulsion, proximity and distance.