All posts tagged: Wong Wai Yin

Wong Wai Yin

Without Trying By Jonathan Thomson Conceptual art can be confusing because it is the art of ideas, and the form that a work takes can be almost anything. One fairly straightforward way of classifying conceptual art, though, is to look at how the ideas arise. There are two methods: when the artist thinks about how he or she can aestheticise an existing idea, thinking first about what it is they want to say and then contriving the best way to say it; and when new ideas are formed through the connections and relationships that are made when an object, action or event is realised. On this basis it could be argued that the best conceptual art starts with an idea, because the aestheticised idea will also gather about itself the new ideas that are created through its relationship with others; and that the most successful conceptual art speaks with the most poetic sensibility and garners the widest possible network of associations and new ideas. It’s rather like the difference between a midwife and a parent. A …

Alan Lau

Alan Lau started collecting Hong Kong art about 10 years ago. He talks about three of his favourite works from his collection. Tozer Pak’s Love Letter (2011) was allegedly dedicated to the artist’s wife when he proposed to her. It is a conceptual, poetic work consisting of four books and the receipt from the bookshop where the artist bought them. Pak plays a game with the Chinese titles of the books so that reading every second character spells out a sentence. In the version in Alan Lau’s collection, it says “I am thinking about you”. The collector likes the idea of finding poetry in a commercial transaction. It also reminds him of traditional Chinese poetry, in which scholars subtly hid messages. The piece itself contains a secret and has its own story: when the work was displayed at Para Site’s annual fundraising auction, a thief entered the gallery and stole the books – and nothing else. Both Pak and Lau found this hilarious, and Lau wanted to buy the piece, or at least a representation …