In The (un)-related Sceneries, Wong Perng Fey continues his introspection of his built and lived environment in Beijing, where he has been living since 2010. Migrant workers and artists, like Wong, face the constant threat of eviction and demolition of their homes as the Chinese government endeavours to turn Beijing into a “high level” international city by eradicating all types of informal settlements. Wong’s new works are informed by his experience of living in Beijing’s rapidly urbanising landscape. His practice draws from his personal account of being evicted to witnessing countless old villages being razed to the ground. In this body of works, Wong communicates his narrative of the destructive nature and haste of urbanisation versus the long histories that the villages housed.
Moving away from his flair of abstraction, Wong incorporates impressions of demolished villages that he witnessed during his daily commute to his studio. Wong attempts to document the textures of memory held by these disappearing villages. As explained by the artist, “Once these villages are gone, future generations can only get a glimpse of them through photographs.” He paints over the images of the demolished village with purposeful gestures of earthy tones and rusty stains to obscure the bitter emotions evoked through the destructive imagery. These earthy tones complement and enhance the visual language of sadness and history that the images present. The layering of ink and stains is considered the artist’s personal journey in processing the internal conflict of a sense of loss and displacement, and a longing for a connection and relationship with the new urbanised environment. The works in The (un)-related Sceneries come together to examine the notion of loss of identity in the turbulent world of urbanisation.
Wong Perng Fey – The (un)-related Sceneries