From our Hot Seat series.
Kingsley Ng is a Hong Kong artist who’s become well-known for his conceptual and interactive site-specific installations, which often address social or geographical phenomena in Hong Kong. In “After the Deluge”, for instance, he transformed the underground Tai Hang Tung stormwater tank into an immersive experience where visitors listened to a soundtrack of music with headsets before entering the space and watching the movements of long pieces of fabric that imitated water. The project highlighted the efforts of the Drainage Services Department towards managing the copious rains and floods that occur in the city.
Most recently, he has been commissioned by the Arts Promotion Office to be a part of the “Hi Hill” project, where he researched the ancient migration patterns of the Tsang clan in Tsuen Wan.
Ng first became interested in art in high school because of his teachers, who exposed him to a range of artistic and creative mediums. High school was also the first time he encountered the idea that art and aesthetics could be “immaterial, discursive and conceptual” as well as pictorial.
One thing I value a lot in art is that it, as Proust suggests, exposes us to many different worlds. I think interactive art is especially valuable as the audience’s worlds also become part of the work.
My grandfather used to associate art with daily experiences. He would compare driving and holding chopsticks to art. I share that belief, so naturally my works are related to the environment — physical and social — which I live in.
Different artists [communicate social and political messages through their art] in their own ways. I am especially interested in what is usually overlooked, and the threshold for listening to or between the more vocal poles.
Serendipity plays a big part in my research. But in hindsight, many of my previous sites are related to some long-term interests: the poetry of geopolitics, transient spaces in motion, places that have encapsulated the forgotten.
I hope that audiences react to my artworks by recalling their own memories. In “After the Deluge”, one of my most memorable experiences was the audience’s sharing of their past experiences of the floods.
I hope there can be more space for listening. Such a space is also related to a state of mind — one that is capable of listening in the wind.