ART – Adrian Wong’s ‘Wun Dun’ Launch (Photos)

Adrian Wong’s show ‘Wun Dun’ launched last night in the little-known basement room of The Fringe Club (formerly an ice store)…

Open to the public from today until Saturday 25th, the exhibit consists mostly of an animatronic band, DJs, cocktails designed by Wong himself and even a live opera performance. Open 5pm-2am under the Fringe Club (Central MTR exit D1).

Taking inspiration from Hong Kong’s rich and unique history, Adrian Wong will create this latest art bar as a performative, participatory environment. This immersive work of art is inspired by the many different periods of Hong Kong’s history. The artist makes use of multiple layers of traditional, often iconic imagery to evoke a multi-sensory impression of Hong Kong’s past. Wun Dun departs from the “real”, official history of the region by simultaneously drawing upon references from film, folklore, superstition, and alternative cosmologies.

The term Wun Dun has a number of different meanings. In traditional Chinese Cosmology the term refers to the primordial chaos that followed the division of heaven and earth. Wun Dun is also a “cosmic gourd” whose shape is taken to represent heaven and earth, and is by extension, a symbol for the entire universe. In Confucianism Wun Dun is a party-loving god shaped like a yellow sack with six legs and no sensory orifices.

In this installation, Wong takes these different meanings and ideas and reinterprets them as a metaphor for Hong Kong itself, an ancient, yet very modern region. Hong Kong is a part of China but with a varied colonial history, much of which has been eroded or forgotten. The complex, intertwined and often-indecipherable layers of Hong Kong’s past are like some great unknowable chaos contained within or behind the slick seamless façade of futuristic modernity.

Wong will orchestrate a series of interventions in the space combining different aesthetic, musical, and architectural references drawn from the idiosyncrasies of the region. From functionally designed banquette seating, popular in cafes and bars across the Pearl River Delta, to an animatronic backing band supporting septuagenarian lounge singers still active in Hong Kong, Wun Dun will provide an anachronistic view into the depths of the city’s collective consciousness.

Originally trained in research psychology, Adrian Wong began making and exhibiting work in San Francisco while concurrently conducting experiments on young children. In a practice that draws together collective superstition and the improbably incidental aesthetics of the overlooked, Wong fabricates panpsychic narratives that terrify and excite.

He has been based in Hong Kong since 2005, where he is a founder of the independent production studio Embassy Projects, and currently teaches sculpture at Virginia Commonwealth University.


Click here for Hong Wrong’s full and comprehensive guide to HK Art Week 2013.

Party goers were treated to a lie-in as a Black Rain alert hit the city next morning.

Other animatronic pieces from the genius, some say twisted, mind of Adrian Wong can also be seen at Hong Kong Eye festival this week at Taikoo Place…

Wong and his animated soft sculpture ‘In Search of a Primordial Idiolect IV’, via Getty/Peter Macdiarmid

…and Art Week fans can also catch him at Para Site, home to a large print of Wong kissing a live chicken…

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Click hear to hear Wong speak about his ‘Wun Dun’ exhibition.

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Click here for photos of Wong’s previous show, ‘Rodentia in Absentia’ on Hong Wrong.

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