Wong Kit Yi

born 1983, Hong Kong
lives in New York City and Hong Kong

For FRONT 2022, multidisciplinary artist Wong Kit Yi presents a new video installation based upon her research in Akron and Cleveland. The work explores the links between subjects as disparate as ancient Egyptian practices of dream interpretation; jiāngshī (Chinese hopping vampires); and the first voice-box transplant, which took place at the Cleveland Clinic in 1998. These inquiries are connected through her signature filmmaking mode, which incorporates newly composed songs with karaoke-style running subtitles into associative, essayistic narratives. This novel format opens up the videos to viewers’ embodied interactions, something expanded further by her presentation of a karaoke performance-lecture during FRONT 2022’s opening days. The artist has also made a traveling kit that allows other art venues around the world to present a version of the project.

As the artist states, “Ancient temples were the precursors of hospitals, places where body and spirit were meant to be treated together. Modern medicine, however, appears to divorce the concept of treatment from care of the soul.” In her thoroughly interdisciplinary approach, the perceived separation between bodies of knowledge and types of experience are broken down and imagined anew. Wong locates the artistic work of healing in the spaces between established genres.

Emily Davis Gallery at the University of Akron, Sheila and Eric Samson Pavilion at the Health Education Campus of Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Clinic

Wong Kit Yi (黄潔宜), Inner Voice Transplant, 2022, Commissioned by FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art with additional support from the Myers School of Art Residency Committee. FRONT exhibitions in Akron are presented by Richard and Alita Rogers, The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, GAR Foundation, and the Akron Community Foundation. Additional support provided by the Myers School of Art Residency Committee.

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