Local artist Ng Fong Chao is having his works exhibited in an event curated by Alice Kok and organized by AFA Association. Within the period of the last two years, Fong Chao has been through two major events in his life: the death of his father and the birth of his son. The experience of his father’s passing has had a tremendous resonance in Fong Chao’s life. Since Macau AFA has invited him to hold a solo exhibition, he has taken the occasion to create a new series of artworks dedicated to his father, revealing in front of us the depth of his reflections upon the subject of life and death – two intrinsically interdependent subjects.
Ng Fong Chao arrived in Macau from Ningbo during the 80’s at the age of sixteen. He started work as a teenager. Although he was introduced to the harsh reality of society at such a young age, he has always carried with him the dream of art. He laments the fact that he was separated from his father since childhood and was not able to grow up near him.
Ng Fong Chao developed his art mainly based on practices. His exploration of the artistic medium is unusually wide, including printing, painting, sculpture, performance art, conceptual photography, video art and installation. Even though Fong Chao has a low-profile style and is a man of few words, he is however quite readily sarcastic to the affairs of our world. His humor is often acutely present in his artworks. One of his series of conceptual photographs sees him dressed in a wedding gown posing against the touristic and historical sites in Macau dressed as a demoiselle. His performance art is equally provocative. In many of his actions, he can be seen half naked doing various ceremonies with the chopped head of a pig. In another, he poses surrounded by a team of Barbie dolls that are “watching” him washing his feet.
Reaching middle age, Ng Fong Chao does not rebel just for the sake of it. In this season of change, he reflects upon decades of art practice in his life and reaches out for a mid-term assessment. He examines the proposition of life and death through the artistic means and life itself is his material. In the video installation artwork “Final Note” he filmed the final words of his dying father in a video. Death is not the end but a transition. In the work “Speech without Words”, both the deathbed testament of his father and the baby babbling sound of his six-month-old son were recorded and translated anew with the voice translation application on a smartphone. These unreadable translated sentences are printed and honorably framed on the wall. Through the artistic way of thinking, the artwork is a solemn response by the artist toward the interminable cycle of life and death.
When: October 26–November 25, 2018
Where: Macau Art Garden, 265 Avenida do Dr. Rodrigo Rodrigues, Macau
How much: Free entry
For more information, check AFA’s website or call them on +853 2836 6064