Wong Ping: Puberty : The Art Gallery of Western Australia | AGWA
Everything is weird, everything is bizarre. There is no normal. Wong Ping is one of the most spirited artists to have emerged in the past decade. He is known for his colourful, playfully-intimate animation style that tells tantalising tales of contemporary Hong Kong life.
Boldly located in the Gallery foyer, the newly-commissioned installation puberty, 2022, draws on Wong’s trademark humour and fascination with how human connections are shaped within technologically mediated worlds where reality and fantasy blur in the strangest and most unsettling of ways.
As compelling as it is ambiguous, we can approach puberty in many ways. Taking the title at face value, the work could be the face of puberty: a notoriously strange and challenging period in life. The eyes might represent fan-like connections to the icons the adolescent is using to fashion an identity. Tired and bloodshot from obsessively tracking the object of their desire the eyes also animate a nose that gently flaps in their breeze, perhaps picking up a scent of longing too. And a tongue pokes out from a mouth that is desperately trying to connect with a lost tooth, something they once had and are missing and now must seek in the visions of others.
Demonstrating that the personal is always complicatedly social, puberty is born from Wong’s awareness that how we navigate our frameworks of desire – seeking in others what we lack in ourselves – needs continual negotiation.
Photo by Rift Photography