Institut Supérieur des Beaux-Arts de Besançon
Résidence // Magdalen Wong


Magdalen Wong was born in Hong Kong but moved to the USA at age 13 and then moved back to Hong Kong in 2006. She completed her undergraduate degree at the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2003 and a master’s degree at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2005.

Wong has described her practice as dealing with "mundane objects and sensual imageries" (timeoutHK). Wong takes inspiration for her work from elements in her everyday life, these include Japanese animation, toy stores, bakeries, wet markets and Sham Shui Po.

Wong is interested in altering mundane objects—through various mediums such as photography, video and sculpture—to provoke viewers to seek different narratives and the unique beauty within these everyday artifacts. Although her work can sometimes be viewed as a critique of consumer culture, she states that the intention of her work is to provoke "a mystery in the ordinary".

Notable works include the video installation mmm wow (2012) in which Wong edited together different expressions from Hong Kong television commercials, for example "mmm", "ohhh" and "wow". The looped video works are displayed on TV sets installed with propped up the screens facing the ground. Viewers could hear the sounds from the TVs, but as the screens faced the ground, they could only see modulating colors reflected on the floor as the videos looped. In the photographic series Peeled (2010) a watermelon’s green rind is peeled to reveal the pink tissue below. The photographs capture a performative gesture which transforms the mundane object of the watermelon into something strange. For Splash (2010), another photographic series, the artist collage cut-out milk splashes from cereal boxes.

Wong is part of the United States-based art group i.e. artist group. The group is made up of seven members, including Wong.They create and curate international exhibitions and events.

Wong currently taught at the Academy of Visual Arts, Hong Kong Baptist University, from 2006 to 2011.

Institut Supérieur des Beaux Arts de Besançon I 12, rue Denis Papin, 25000 Besançon I T. +33 (0)3 81 87 81 30