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, Making Chinatown transforms the exhibition space into a studio backlot 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.

Wong's practice considers the means through which subjectivity and geographic location are constructed by motion pictures. Making Chinatown is Wong's first project focused on the American context of filmmaking and draws upon Polanski's iconic film for its use of Los Angeles as a versatile and malleable character. Wong treats the film as a text through which he is able to inhabit and impersonate the qualities that are particular to the place it represents. Making Chinatown mimics and reduces the techniques of mainstream cinema in order to emphasize the theatrical qualities that underlie cinematic artifice.

This DVD contains an installation slideshow and video preview clips.

Making Chinatown
2012
mixed-media installation featuring a seven-channel colour video, running time variable

Access level

Onsite

production company/producer

Ming WONG, 黃漢明

Location code CD.001659
Language

English

Publication/Creation date

2012

Video format

DVD

No of copies

1

Content type

artwork documentation

Ming Wong: Making Chinatown
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Ming Wong: Making Chinatown