Episode 22: Wei Leng Tay & Michelle Wong

(un)making

Episode 22: Wei Leng Tay & Michelle Wong

By Weston Teruya December 8, 2017

Weston Teruya welcomes artists, arts administrators, and cultural workers of color to get real about their lives, practices, and careers. Each episode is an in-depth look into how art gets made, but more importantly how these folks are seeing to the system of art’s (UN)making.


In this episode of the podcast, I go back to May this year when I had the opportunity to talk with Singaporean artist Wei Leng Tay and Hong Kong-based researcher Michelle Wong about Sightlines, a project centered on the work of a group of artists they brought together to explore public space, visuality, and post-Umbrella Movement Hong Kong. The project was prompted by an invitation by Chinese Culture Center of San Francisco’s Artistic Director, Abby Chen, to use a 360 camera as an artmaking & conceptual tool to explore socio political issues & movements within the city, and to exhibit the results in a show at CCC.* We discussed the process of generating Hong Kong’s art histories, creating work in relationship to the Umbrella Movement and beyond—including envisioning what happens after the public moment of protest and what it means to archive protest ephemera—and bringing artists and their work from Hong Kong into a different cultural and political context.

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Wei Leng Tay is an artist based in Singapore working with photography, audio, and video that are made into installations and prints. Her projects involve conversations with people that delve into how desire, identities, relationships, and histories are tied to family, society, the state, and migration. Wei Leng has exhibited internationally, including solo exhibitions at the NUS Museum, Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Chulalongkorn University Art Center, and the Australian National University CIW Gallery. She is the recipient of a WYNG Masters Award, Poynter Fellowship from Yale, and several Singapore National Arts Council grants. Wei Leng has been in residence at Vasl Artists’ Collective in Karachi, Pakistan, ANU School of Art in Australia, and the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum.

Michelle Wong is a Researcher at the Asia Art Archive. Based in Hong Kong, she leads the Archive’s research projects in the city, including the Ha Bik Chuen Archive Project, which maps out exhibition documentation from 1960-2000 taken by late Hong Kong artist Ha Bik Chuen (1925–2009), alongside other materials that were previously unavailable to the public. She also facilitates the Hong Kong Art History Research Project, organized in collaboration with the Hong Kong Museum of Art: a long-term endeavor started in 2013 to create a publicly available resource platform to support art historical research on recent art in Hong Kong. She was an Assistant Curator for the 2016 Gwangju Biennial and presents her research internationally.

*Full disclosure, I was one of the two local artists who was also commissioned to create work for the CCC exhibition and I currently do contract work for CCC.

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