WONG HOY CHEONG
b. Penang, 1960
BUKIT BERUNTUNG FACTORIES, 2006
Signed and dated 'WHC06' (lower left)
Charcoal on paper
100cm x 75cm
Private Collection, Kuala Lumpur.
Wong Hoy Cheong: Bound of Glory,
Valentine Willie Fine Art, Kuala Lumpur, 2006.
ESTIMATE RM 15,000 - 25,000
PRICE REALISED RM 33,000
|One is struck by the banal and deadpan nature of the whole suburbia scene, in this case the factories on the edge of the housing estate in Bukit Beruntung in Selangor. To compound the staid insipid scene, a man who is all alone and dressed head to toe in starchy white like a uniform, looks back at the viewer, perplexed perhaps, clueless and direction-less. Dead and dull as it is, these new labour-intensive mini-townships are once magnets for the accelerated rural-urban migration, and later attract an influx of foreign workers. As always, Wong Hoy Cheong, with his penchant for theatricality and irony, has opted for the stark reality of a photographic monochrome representation although the medium is his preferred charcoal on paper, like what he first did in his Of Migrants & Rubber Trees series in 2006.
Wong Hoy Cheong is a socio-political activist-artist producing important works that question norms and push the envelope of ways things happen in the present-day. His intellectual pedigree precedes his works: a double Masters – Masters in Fine Arts (Painting), University of Massachussetts, Amhertst (1986) and Masters in Education, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts (1984). He has taught Art locally and in Britain, and has also done lighting and props for theatre and drama. He was awarded the Australian Cultural Award in 1992. He was artist-in-residence in Gasworks, London (2002); the Canberra Institute of the Art, Australia (1992); Visiting Fellow in the Goldsmith College in 1999 and Visiting Tutor in the Central St Martin’s of London in 1988. He obtained his Bachelor of Arts at the Brandeis University, USA in 1982. His first solo (open studio in Boston, USA ) and retrospective (Eslie Gallery in Taipei, Taiwan) were both overseas. His work, Re: Looking, 2002-2003, an installation with video and website in a constructed living room, was displayed together with another called, Utopia, in the Arsenale half in the 50th Venice Biennale in 2004.