Installation at Shanghai Himalayas Museum, curated by Ren Jun
The work is a response to the aesthetic remixing brought up by Chinese economic reform in the past two decades. Employing a wide range of materials, production and reproduction methods, Kwong proposes how cross-cultural translation does not always constitute a loss in fidelity; instead, meaning and cultural capital are obtained through the act of repurposing. Kwong explores representations of culture through material artifacts, crafts, and metaphors. The work on view consists of a resin wicker-made fountain, varies sculptures, and a 50 meters long painting reproduction. The painting depicts the traditional Western symbols for time and death in Chinese aesthetic form. It provokes the feeling and thoughts of afterlife in viewers, and it also reflects on our human societal effort of achieving immortality through capitalism. Together, the installation unravels the multiple meanings and associations embedded in familiar signs and symbols. The artist shows the possibility of visual language as well as its readymade, arbitrary, and troubling connections with spoken language.