UCCA Beijing

Repeated Difference: The Films of Ming Wong


Cinema Arts
Location:  UCCA Art Cinema
Language:  English only

14:00-14:05 In Love for the Mood

14:05-14:20 Life of Imitation

14:20-14:50 Angst Essen

14:50-15:55 Making Chinatown

15:55-16:05 After Chinatown

Ticketing & Participation:Free


*Collect your ticket from reception 30 minutes before the event begins.

* Please no late entry.

About the films

In Love for the Mood

In Love for the Mood was originally commissioned for the 53rd Venice Biennale for the artist's solo exhibition Life of Imitation at the Singapore Pavilion, this work is inspired by Hong Kong filmmaker Wong Kar-Wai’s meditation on love on and infidelity set in Hong Kong in the 1960s, In the Mood for Love (2000).

A Caucasian actress plays both the leading man and woman, attempting to deliver her lines in Cantonese, by repeating after the artist/director's off-screen voice.

Life of Imitation

Life of Imitation was originally commissioned for the 53rd Venice Biennale for the artist's solo exhibition Life of Imitation at the Singapore Pavilion, this work is inspired by a scene from the classic Hollywood melodrama by Douglas Sirk, Imitation of Life (1959) where a black mother meets her mixed-race daughter who has been running away from her true 'identity'.

This version features 3 male actors from the 3 main ethnic groups in Singapore (Chinese, Malay and Indian) taking turns to play the black mother and her 'white' daughter. The identity of the actor for each role constantly changes with each shot.

Angst Essen

During his residency at the Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Ming, who was inspired by the strong Turkish presence in Berlin’s Kreuzberg area, developed his latest video work, Angst Essen/Eat Fear, a reconstruction of a Fassbinder movie, Angst essen Seele auf (1973), which tells the story of Emmi, an elderly cleaning woman from Munich, who falls in love with a much younger Moroccan immigrant worker named Ali. The two unlikely lovers start living together as a couple, which at that time in Germany was socially looked down upon, if not deemed downright scandalous. In Fassbinder’s film, their relationship threatens to turn into a disaster under the pressure of hostile and discriminatory social reflexes.

Making Chinatown

"For his first solo exhibition in Los Angeles, Ming Wong creates a series of videos and scenic backdrops that center around the making of Roman Polanski’s seminal 1974 film Chinatown. Shot on location in the Gallery at REDCAT, Wong’s reinterpretation, Making Chinatown, transforms the exhibition space into a studio back lot and examines the original film’s constructions of language, performance and identity. With the artist cast in the roles originally played by Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, John Huston and Belinda Palmer, key scenes are reenacted in front of printed backdrops that are digitally rendered from film stills and kept intact within the video installation. The wall flats adhere to the conventions of theatrical and filmic staging while taking on qualities of large-scale painting and sculpture.

After Chinatown

Ming Wong's experience creating Making Chinatown in Los Angeles in early 2012 led directly to this later piece. Triggered by the iconic last line of Polanski's classic 1974 ‘neo-noir' film – ‘Forget it, Jake, it's Chinatown' - Wong found he could not ‘forget it.’ He embarked on a journey into the legacy of Chinatown as a cinematic symbol and its themes of despair, helplessness, and lawlessness, resulting in After Chinatown.