Wong Kit Yi
Wong Kit Yi’s practice explores biological answers to metaphysical questions, she deals with odd scientific findings and the dysfunctional relationship between what is considered science and pseudoscience. Wong also investigates the contractual relationship, working with such ideas as patron collaboration through the 99-year leases for her artworks.
Her most recent works have been included in projects organized by Kunstinstituut Melly (Netherlands, 2021); Public Art Fund (New York, 2020); Tank Museum (Shanghai, 2020); Para Site (Hong Kong, 2019); Surplus Space (Wuhan, 2018); the Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art (Riga, 2017). Reviews of her work have appeared in such publications as the New York Times, Art in America, Contemporary Art Daily, e-flux conversations, ArtReview, ARTnews, ArtAsiaPacific, Art21, Art Newspaper amongst others. She has been selected for the Chinati Foundation Artist in Residence program (Marfa, 2021), where she will walk to and fro between Mexico and the US to explore meteorological borders. She received an MFA from Yale University, and has been teaching university courses about performance, video art and new media. Wong is the co-chair of LASER (Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous) Hong Kong.
Wong Kit Yi lives and works between New York and Hong Kong.
Yes-Jet-Lag (formula 2.0) / 2021
Yes-Jet-Lag (formula 2.0) (2021) explores the phenomenon of jet-lag and the spatial temporal displacement the body experiences. In a time where travel bans restrict the crossing of time zones, video call technologies force us to reverse our logic on what it means to be in sync with time. Comparing jet-lag to a witch’s broomstick flight, Wong delves into hallucinatory possibilities of disruptions in our circadian rhythm. Using her karaoke style lecture to present her pseudoscientific endeavours, she places an acute awareness and fixation to the timing of on screen subtitles, inviting us to redefine the reality of the present, whilst being governed by our construct of time.
A River in A Freezer / 2017
Wong Kit Yi’s A River in the Freezer is an essay film born out of the artist’s three-week expedition at The Arctic Circle residency in 2015. The wide-ranging film combines directed and found footage to meditate upon glaciers, cryogenics, Longyearbyen, Norway (a town where by law no one is allowed to die), the fair-haired manga character Cygnus Hyōga, 19th-century global ice trade, Camp Century in Greenland (a sub-glacial US project for research and secret nuclear warfare) and color wavelength theory in regard to ice, among other topics. Wong shows that the snow-capped Arctic is far from an uninhabitable wasteland, but an immense site of knowledge creation, fantastical topophilia, and itinerant belongings.
Feng Shui: how to be a better artist / 2011
Feng Shui: how to be a better artist follows Wong to her new studio space at the Yale Sculpture Building. She invites feng shui master Mr. Ye to read the harmonisation between her and her studio, hoping it will enable her to become a better artist. He instructs her on multiple spatial interventions such as placing a yellow carpet in one side of the room, to avoid sitting in the corner of death and triumphantly reassuring her that her chosen studio 403 is a prosperous number, sharing similar intonations to the Chinese words for “even in death, you’ll revive”. To some, the superstitious practices of feng shui may appear absurd, but many would not hesitate to make the same statement about the irrationalities of the art market and its auxiliary institutions. Wong’s geomancy and pseudoscience tap into the innate human desire for meaning and direction, charting a post-humanist pathway against Enlightenment institutional ideologies purported by prevalent neo-liberal systems.
Fate-calculating: Get Yale Interview Prepared / 2010
In 2010, Wong Kit Yi’s presented Fate-calculating: Get Yale Interview Prepared at her Yale MFA programme admissions interview. The video sees her visiting a Chinese fortune teller to predict her fate at the interview. By removing the agency from her own hands, Wong attempts to debunk institutional structures and the myth of the artistic genius. As predicted by the fortune teller, Wong gets accepted into the programme.