Talk at the Library: 'They Hit My Head With a Glass Bottle and I Fell Down, Since Then I Did a Lot of Work on Falling.''
A Conversation With Artist Isaac Chong Wai
June 7, 2023 — In this Talk at the Library, artist Isaac Chong Wai takes the audience on a captivating journey into his art, exploring the influences of history, social changes, and personal experience. Wai discussed some of his most recent artworks which delicately balance subtlety, poetry, and critical commentary with art advisor Aita Sulser.
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.