ARTFORUM.COM INTERVIEWS | “Morgan Wong” 黄荣法谈近期创作 , 2018/01,

I’M INTERESTED IN THE TEMPORALITY OF SOVEREIGNTY, and how it can be examined or illustrated through geopolitical borders. For example, the ongoing debates that have been happening since the late 1940s about the commonly named “nine-dash line,” a territorial claim in the South China Sea that China and Taiwan have maintained over the years, have long intrigued me. Representing the South China Sea border as eleven separate paintings, my “Dash Series” partly taps into the psychology of how we can perceive a series of dashes as a continuous line. It’s a gesture of destroying the border and, at the same time, an act of rethinking the significance of each dash.

A solo exhibition that I had at KIGOJA Independent Arts Space Initiative in Seoul in 2016, “KIGOJA Standard Time (KST),” presented four installations featuring two steel rails, an open window, six unsynchronized clocks, and a television displaying a silent, spinning globe. With this fictional time zone I created, the works made up a stark tableau that spoke broadly to the role of time in nation building. The show revolved around North Korea’s decision, in 2015, to revert to a precolonial time zone. This setting up of Pyongyang time, on the seventieth anniversary of Korea’s liberation from Japan, created a new temporal border between the South and the North.

In 2013, I began the lifelong performance Filing Down a Steel Bar Until a Needle Is Made. The title references a Chinese idiom about determination, and the work evolved from my personal determination to become an artist. I am literally filing down a metal bar, which is the same height and weight as myself, by hand. It is also a metaphorical event, in a way. The project was presented as a video in the exhibition “Line of Times” at Mill6 in Hong Kong earlier this year, because I decided it should not be a public performance, but a daily ritual, for me. The metal bar project is already durational in that it’s going to take my whole life to complete, so I don’t feel the need to lock myself up in a room, just filing it every day. If I cannot be with the metal bar, because of work or travel, I just leave it. It also travels with me to residences and other long relocations.

I think it’s important not to recognize a project as absurd in the beginning, because that kind of defines its function and denies the nature of absurdity. Time has always been a concern of mine. Recently I have been looking into theoretical physics and whether the passing of time even exists. Repeating these actions and gestures almost allows me to create my own currency, my own unit of time.

——As told to Samantha Kuok Leese


“疆域—地缘的拓扑” 现场照片,“Frontier: Re-assesement of Post-Globalisational Politics” On-site Photos. Courtesy of OCAT Shanghai and artist.


黄荣法 1984年生于香港,现生活及工作于香港。个展包括:“一寸光阴一寸金”(巴塞尔艺术展香港展会-艺术探新单元,香港会议展览中心,香港,2018) (即将展出)、“此刻的凉薄只存在于主观与客观的一念之间”(温哥华亚洲当代艺术国际中心,温哥华,2016)、“短划;喧笑;水塘”(A+ Contemporary 亚洲当代艺术空间策划,亚洲艺术中心台北二馆,台北,2016)、“KIGOJA标准时间(KST)”(KIGOJA,首尔,2016)、“无题─高速公路”(劳斯莱斯陈列室,香港,2015)、“铁柱成针”(Tintype Gallery,伦敦,2013)、“一小时”(2PContemporary Art Gallery,香港,2011)。群展包括:“疆域—地缘的拓扑”(OCT ContemporaryArt Terminal 上海馆,上海,2017)、“走私:一个越境的生命经济学”(关渡美术馆,台北,2017 )、“线之时空”(六厂基金会,香港,2017)、“时间测试:国际录像艺术研究观摩展”(中央美术学院,北京,2016)、“Seoul Babel”(首尔美术馆,首尔,2016)、“如果只有城籍而没有国籍”(Para Site艺术空间,香港,2015)、“Essential Matters”(Borusan Contemporary, 伊斯坦堡, 2015)、“第 8 届深圳雕塑双年展”(OCT Contemporary Art Terminal 深圳馆,深圳,2014)、 “第二届巴塞尔艺术展香港展会-艺聚空间单元”(香港会议展览中心,香港,2014)、“18th Videobrasil”(SESCPompeia,圣保罗,2013)、“Move On Asia -Video Art in Asia 2002 to 2012”(ZKM媒体美术馆,卡尔斯鲁厄,德国,2013)、“No Soul For Sale”(泰特现代美术馆,伦敦,2010)。黄荣法亦同時为,Artforum艺术论坛, ArtReview Asia 撰写文章。