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anus whisper

[25.03.24 – 04.05.24]


Wong Ping


10 Sik On Street, Wanchai

(Related files)

My last show in Hong Kong took place back in 2017. Do you remember the shape of yourself in 2017? I honestly don’t. Astrologers have made it clear to me that Scorpios hold the most grudges, but I don’t remember nothing—does it make me a lousy Scorpio? Have I met people’s expectations that I hold grudges? Which one is more worthy of remembering, melancholy or grudges? Are all historians Scorpios? It was probably because I am losing my memory that I am constantly asking questions through artworks. Therefore, there’s no need to look for answers really; they are not here.

Although I have always made animations, I am in fact more interested in writing stories. The happiest moment is when I finish making a story in my head; the steps that follow—such as animation, installation, logistics and so on—are apparently carried out solely for an exhibition for you, no? What’s the point of exhibiting something? Alas! Animations can be free and wild, but they are lacking in physical, embodied textures, and in existential, substantial connections. Do you see what I mean? It’s similar to tastes and textures in the realm of food—the inexplicable, subtle differences that you can detect with your tongue, so subtle yet so essential that it is the key that harmonises everything. That’s why it was decided that anus whisper shown upstairs at the gallery would depart from my usual methodology: no longer animation through and through; no longer voicing for my own work; no longer making the work entirely on my own. What was an animation is now a film, a result of experiments based on an accumulation of blood, sweat and flesh of the crew. The overwhelming anxiety of uncontrollability made me realise that I was no longer a bedroom animation god who was alone and secluded, and that I was, instead, being constantly shocked by the numerous manifestations of imperfection brought on by reality. It was imperfect, but even the lunch we had as a team on a shooting day made me feel alive—it was a distinct taste animations could not cook up.

anus whisper‘s outro was Season of Love(戀愛季節) by Kwan King Chung. Over the years, I’d put it on several times a day, astounded and amazed every time I played it. Chung passed away in 2023, and I was not very familiar with him. I can only recall that about ten years ago, me and him were sitting next to each other, having but a small, polite chat: he had heard that I was jobless for a while, so he was asking about how I managed my life. Although, as optimistic as I have always been, I was not depressed at all, but from our brief exchange I felt the tangible sincerity in his consolation and encouragement. Perhaps that came from the kind of heart a great person possesses.

Not long after Chung died, me and my friends P and Yip Jai remembered him one night after dinner. We all knew him and admired his work, so we were lamenting that we did not get to tell him in person how terrific he was. I did not want to let the chance slip again, so I placed my hands on their shoulders and said: “I am saying it now, both of you are great! I appreciate both of you!” A couple of months after having a good laugh that night, Yip Jai passed away.

In the exhibition, you will see scattered here and there four hairy bowling balls. Have you bowled before? People sadistically abuse the balls by sticking three fingers into the holes—is it too much, bowling on a first date? Looking for answers, you will notice that the writings on the balls offer some kind of Chicken-Soup-for-the-Soul wisdom.

There is in my exhibition, on the other hand, a nameless giant ear; please exercise caution when you are anywhere near the earwax machine above. Earwax is the bullshit that is blocked from penetrating the ear, stopped by the ear drum from entering the body. Bullshit is for me the genesis of wisdom, and the sound of the earwax drop is comparable to all the beautiful, magnificent bell tolls.

I recall being taken by a friend to an underground strip club in Tokyo. There were only a few old people there, one of them even fell asleep. I guess he was there for quite a while. The dancers were very professional, and the audience was waving their hands, clapping, and cheering along, reacting to the performance in an atmosphere that was very different from strip clubs in the West. I was looking at the old people, who were in turn fixated on the dancers’ private parts. As the dancers finished their performance, they walked up to the audience and totally exposed from above the stage their private parts to each and single old person, one after another. The private parts that the old people were always eyeing were then suddenly and extremely up close, but they reacted by turning their faces away from it, averting their eyes. It was so real and natural a response, and I was utterly fascinated by both the humiliation and the rejection of the abrupt bliss. It reminded me of the old Bataille text The Solar Anus, talking about how “vegetation is uniformly directed towards the sun; human beings, on the other hand, even though phalloid like trees, in opposition to other animals, necessarily avert their eyes. Human eyes tolerate neither sun, coitus, cadavers, nor obscurity.” The first part of anus whisper came from this strip club experience.

Going upstairs, you may hear noises generated by the Whistleblower. As described in anus whisper, farts are whistleblowers informing the arrival of shit, believe it or not. I ordered the man to roll all the way down from the rooftop of the gallery while trying to blow the trumpet. The sound of the body rolling and bumping was much worse, much more horrifying than expected. Waiting at the other end of the stairs, I heard the sound-making body approaching me and feared that I had just killed another person.

Who’s your most memorable whistleblower?

 (About Wong Ping)

Flashing, pop-like imagery; visual and auditory narrations that explicitly touch upon sex, politics and social relations; vibrant installations that extend into three dimensions of the artist’s fantastical animation world – these are but cornerstones of Wong Ping’s practice. Discussing his observations of society, from teenage to adulthood, his works combine the crass and the colourful to mount a discourse around repressed sexuality, personal sentiments and political limitations. As one of Hong Kong’s most exciting emerging artists, Wong Ping has been commissioned to create works by significant institutions including New Museum, ICA Miami, Kunsthalle Basel, Guggenheim, M+ and NOWNESS. He was awarded Camden Arts Centre Emerging Arts Prize at Frieze, Huayu Youth Award Jury Prize, Young Artist Award by Hong Kong Arts Development Awards and more. He has held solo exhibitions and screenings at major institutions including New Museum, Centre Pompidou, ICA Miami, Camden Arts Centre, Kunsthalle Basel; and participated significant exhibitions internationally at MUDAM Luxembourg, OGR Torino, Guggenheim Museum, New Museum Triennial, Ural Industrial Biennial, amongst others. Wong’s work is held in several permanent collections including Centre Pomidou, M+, Hong Kong, KADIST, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, MoCa Busan, amongst others. His animation films have been presented at numerous film festivals worldwide, including the famous Film Festival Rotterdam, Sundance Film Festival, London Short Film Festival, and Kino der Kunst. In 2019, his film Wong Ping’s Fables 1 was the winner of The Ammodo Tiger Short Competition at the International Film Festival Rotterdam, who gave a special mention to its sequel Wong Ping’s Fables 2 in the following year.