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The world seen through the lens of artist and art historian Ange Ong is not much different from ours. She sees mountains and alleyways; we can see those. She sees a cutting board resting on the sink, and a glass on the table; we see this. She sees a museum attendant sitting behind a sparse information desk; this is not new. It is not her subjects that shape something unseen, because they surround all of us all the time, but Ong’s interaction with the quiet everyday that is transportive and gives clementines and white-walled hallways pause.
The figures of Ong’s photography are isolated and colors are flattened, as if the scenes were layered with pastel tissue paper. Like pressing mute while movie gunshots fire, Ong’s minimalism simplifies food, cityscapes and packed beaches to become impossibly serene.
Her work is often more than just a pretty face. Performance piece “Illegitimate Surfaces/ChorGwo” involved Ong’s participation in the illegal business of pasting posters (she used photographs of a flower meadow) on city walls of Hong Kong. The work’s journalistic writings and photos of documentation comment on occupancy as protest and ephemerality of image.
Ong is currently working between New York City and Hong Kong, taking photos, curating performances, and collecting and creating to form a body of experimental arts writing.
Text by GRETA RAINBOW