Cheuk Wing Nam

b. 1983 in Hong Kong
Working in Hong Kong
Showing at Asia Society Museum
On view from March 16, 2021, through June 27, 2021
Installation view

Cheuk Wing Nam, Avaritia—Silent Greed, 2015. Recycled wine bottles, DC motors, and LED bulb. Dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artist. Photograph courtesy of Asia Society Hong Kong Center

Cheuk Wing Nam utilizes technology to create interactive installations and immersive soundscapes that explore the relationships between light, sound, and space. Her kinetic sculptures are often assembled from vintage, readymade objects from daily life, in a DIY aesthetic evocative of Rube Goldberg machines. The artist received a BA in international business from the City University of Hong Kong in 2007, a Higher Diploma in fashion and clothing from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University in 2012, and an MA in visual arts from Hong Kong Baptist University in 2015.

The artist's interactive installation was created in response to the isolation and loneliness brought about by the global phenomenon of sheltering in place to curb the coronavirus pandemic. The viewer is invited to engage a refurbished telephone magneto (a hand-cranked electrical generator installed in analog telephone sets) to access prerecorded audiovisual messages of individuals in self-isolation. Telephone magnetos were commonly used to communicate in times of war, and Cheuk’s appropriation of this antiquated technology in her installation likens the experience of living through the pandemic to wartime while it underscores the perennial need for intimacy and human interaction in times of hardship and disaster.