Without Trying
Wong Wai Yin

Spring Workshop is thrilled to announce the first solo show in 5 years of established Hong Kong artist Wong Wai Yin. The exhibition Without Trying is all new work, and marks a change in the direction of Wong’s artistic practice as she introduces the profound ways that motherhood has transformed her personal convictions and philosophy on making art. (Find more background in the Spring Workshop Archive Dropbox.)

During her 5-year professional hiatus, Wong embarked on a learning adventure, taking lessons in dog training, spiritual response therapy (SRT), ukulele and French as she attempted to recalibrate herself to a new identity. The resulting videos, paintings and installations lay bare the ways in which she has come into terms with her fears and aspirations. 

The works presented in Without Trying were created in part during her two-month residency at Spring Workshop this summer, and stem from ideas and life lessons she gleaned when the time and energy she had previously spent making art was usurped by childcare duties. With self-effacing humor, her videos dramatize the handful of ways in which she confronts her obstacles, which range from stomping on various foods to purge herself of negativity, to standing in 22-cm thick platforms in order to be taller than her partner, to filming herself in a permanent state of reincarnation where she surpasses personal hurdles via rebirth. Branching out from her personal catharses, Wong employs her newly-acquired SRT techniques on three close friends who are successful male figures on the regional art circuit to help them confront their own angst, and to figure out how they find purpose in making art. 

In Wish You Were Eternal, an installation that enmeshes her old and new identities, Wong makes a grand gesture and annihilates a key obstacle tethering her to the past: her existing works. To say farewell to her creations, she invited a psychic medium to relay messages to her from the old works (2006 – 2013) before she chopped them up into shapes which she then entombed in a trio of wooden pyramids. As she lets go of—and simultaneously gives new life to— the relics of her past, Wong kicks off a new era in her life, where things happen without trying.    

Wong Wai Yin is artist-in-residence at Spring Workshop from June through August 2016. The exhibition is curated by Christina Li, Director of Spring Workshop.  


The ten seconds that determine whether A gets made into a work, a publication featuring Wong Wai Yin’s personal reflections on art-making will accompany the exhibition. It will be published in late September 2016.

Wong Wai Yin will present Talking Archive at Asia Art Archive (AAA) as part of their special programme series 15 Invitations for 15 Years (October 11 – November 26, 2016). Wong invites her collaborator Percy Mak, a psychic medium and animal communicator who talks to objects and space, to speak to various sites within AAA and its collection in order to uncover their “true opinions.” Mak questions directed at various AAA materials include: as a hictorical documnet, how do you think history should be invented? As one of the oldest documents in AAA’s collection, what do you think is the most valuable accomplishment by the organisation in the last 15 years? The findings will be presented in the AAA library in the form of a video and site-specific installation.



Saturday, August 20, 2016
Exhibition opening
3.00 – 7.00pm

Saturday, September 24, 2016
Guided Tour
3pm – 4pm (part of South Island Cultural District Art Day program)

Sunday, October 23, 2016
Finissage – Artist talk by Wong Wai Yin with Sarah Lai and Anthony Yung
4pm – 6pm

  • DateAugust 20 - October 23, 2016
  • TimeTue to Sun, 12-6pm
  • TypeExhibition

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