Isaac CHONG Wai

 
Rehearsal of the Futures: Police Training Exercises  (2018 ) , video still, courtesy of the artist

Rehearsal of the Futures: Police Training Exercises (2018), video still, courtesy of the artist

 

Rehearsal of the Futures: Police Training Exercises

Isaac Chong Wai takes the history of protests— through its repetitive expressions and actions—as the point of departure in this newly commissioned performance. Rehearsal of the Futures: Police Training Exercises is a continuation of Chong’s investigation into imagined futures and how, through certain movements and postures, past ideology can be interpreted and improved upon by future generations. Chong’s research into police training exercises around the world also questions the development of these actions and their intended use: are they meant as a first line of defense, or a last resort? Chong and a group of performers enact choreographed sets of movements based on past altercations at protest sites and training exercises taught at police academies, but at greatly reduced speeds. These acts are transformed into something new when drastically slowed down; aggressive posturing and the collision of bodies become poetic, gentle caresses. The slowness suspends time and changes the dimensions of reality, shifting perceptions of both viewer and performer so that the gestures are no longer seen as threatening, but rather as healing and comforting. Through such abstract and distorted motions, Chong asks whether beauty can be found in confrontation, and if such beauty can lead to reconciliation.

 

Isaac CHONG Wai

Born 1990 in Guangdong; lives and works in Berlin

Isaac CHONG Wai is a Berlin-based artist from Hong Kong, with an MFA in Public Art and New Artistic Strategies from the Bauhaus-Universitat in Weimar, Germany, and a BA in Visual Arts from the Academy of Visual Arts at the Hong Kong Baptist University. His work has been shown at M+ Museum and Para Site in Hong Kong, Stiftung Brandenburger Tor and Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin, Deutsche Künstlerbund, Berlin and Gwangju Media Art Festival, Kunstfest Weimar and Macura Museum in Novi Banovci and the Moscow International Biennale for Young Art in Museum of Moscow. He has had solo exhibitions at Kunstraum München in Munich (2018), Goethe Institut Hongkong in Hong Kong (2018), Bauhaus Museum in Weimar (2016). His work employs a range of media, including live performance, video, photography, and site-specific installation, and explores the interplay between the collective and the individual, the politics of time and space, and real and imagined futures.