Talk at the Library: Witnessing HistoryVIEW EVENT DETAILS
A Conversation With Artist Isaac Chong Wai
Working between Hong Kong and Berlin, artist Isaac Chong Wai explores the significance of processing historical events, envisioning reality and imagining social shifts in his art. Subtle, poetic, yet critical, his work reflects his engagement with global phenomena as well as local actualities. In 2020, he talked to us about Falling Carefully. In this artwork Chong captures the act of falling, among others the fall of protesters, and is challenging the feeling of powerlessness during the fall. A year later, in his work Falling Reversely, he responds to institutional violence and assaults against Asians during the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond, as performers reclaim the autonomy of their own bodies. As a witness to history and contemporary reality, in his recent works Chong addresses violence, wartime, collectivism and mourning, while envisioning a future without leaders.
What is Chong’s artistic process? How do earlier pieces influence his current artworks? And what approach does he have in capturing the complexities of historical events?
Join us for a conversation with artist Isaac Chong Wai as we delve into his work influenced by politics, history and social changes. The conversation will be moderated by Aita Sulser, art advisor and Passport Member at Asia Society Switzerland.
This event is for Asia Society Members only. How to become a member?
Attendance is free. In order to avoid no-shows for tickets at our office, a CHF 50 no-show fee will be charged if you do not cancel your registration until 24 hours before the event the latest.
Isaac Chong Wai is an artist working between Berlin and Hong Kong. The conceptual, political, and performative qualities of Isaac Chong Wai’s practice are incorporated by an interdisciplinary approach, processing the exigency of societal shifts and global phenomena. His subtle, poetic, and yet critical works infiltrate the systems of meanings, inviting viewers to reexamine his edited representations of, among others, the body, powerlessness, violence, collectivism, leaderlessness and mourning. He works across a range of media, comprising performance, sculpture, video, painting and photography. He had solo exhibitions at Museum Schloss Moyland (2023); Zilberman Selected, Istanbul and Una Boccata d’Arte, Fondazione Elpis and Galleria Continua, Castiglione di Sicilia (2022); Bilsart, Istanbul (2021); Blindspot Gallery, Hong Kong (2019); Zilberman, Berlin (2019); Kunstraum München, Munich (2018); Goethe-Institut, Hong Kong (2018); Bauhaus Museum, Weimar (2016). His work has been shown at Bundeskunsthalle Bonn, ifa-Galerie Berlin and Kindl Museum, Berlin (2022); Federal Foreign Office (2021); National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMCA), Seoul, Innsbruck Biennial and IFFR, Rotterdam (2020); Museum of Contemporary Art in Taipei and Guangdong Times Museum in Guangzhou (2019); M+ Museum and Para Site in Hong Kong and Times Art Center Berlin (2018); Stiftung Brandenburger Tor and Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin (2017); Gwangju Media Art Festival (2016); Kunstfest Weimar (2015); Moscow Biennale for Young Art in Museum of Moscow (2014). Chong was awarded NEUSTARTplus-Stipendium für freiberufliche bildende Künstler:innen, Stiftung Kunstfonds, Bonn (2023); INITIAL 2 Special Grant–New Cooperations together with Dagmar Aigner, Akademie der Künste, Berlin (2022); Research Stipends, Berlin Senate Department for Culture and Europe, Berlin (2021); Fellowship at Kulturakademie Tarabya, Goethe-Institut and Federal Foreign Office, Istanbul and Talent Award at Jutta Cuny-Franz Memorial Award, Kunstpalast Museum, Düsseldorf (2020); Warsteiner Blooom Award, Düsseldorf (2019); and “Artist Scholarship Program,” Burger Collection, Hong Kong (2016). His works are collected notable art institutions such as Burger Collection, Bundeskunstsammlung (Federal Collection of Contemporary Art), ifa Collection, and Sunpride Foundation, among others. He 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. Picture: © Innsbruck International Biennale/ Mia Maria Knoll
Aita Sulser is a Swiss art advisor from Engadin, she is currently based in Zurich, completing her studies in Mandarin at Peking University. Aita lived and worked in Taipei as Asia Representative for Karma International, Zurich, where she liaised with artists, private collectors and institutions throughout China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Japan. She worked as gallery associate at Urs Meile Galerie in Beijing, establishing her expertise in China's art market and its contemporary cultural scene. Throughout the years she has been working closely with the Burger Collection, Hong Kong, advising on new acquisitions of emerging positions.
About Talk at the Library
Talk at the Library is a members-only series where we invite an expert to our office library (or on Zoom), over lunch, for a conversation on specific niche topics on a variety of countries and regions of Asia. The programs consist of a moderated discussion and subsequent audience Q&A. Participants can interact with speakers, asking questions live or online.
Asia Society Switzerland