Kate Ngan Wa Ao

Kate Ngan Wa Ao

The artist is originally from Macau, and has lived in Wroclaw for eight years. Her work finds inspiration from various visual cultures, childhood memories, issues of racial identity, and complex issues of post-colonialism and irredentism in Macau. He often transforms and reworks archives, photographs and everyday objects, combining different materials and cultural symbols to reveal intricate meanings in the process.

During the Norwegian residency, she wants to deconstruct the question “where do I come from?”; is it a national concept or an individual experience? The artistic process will be combined with dialogues, locally written answers, and stories of collections of locally found objects that carry the idea of identity. As a result, we can expect an installation in an engaged art form. 

Artist statement:

“Colors have played a crucial role in art throughout history. However, they have increasingly become a political statement. As an Asian, I began to understand the implications of being a person of color living in Western countries. Colors represent various aspects of our lives, defining our values, political affiliations, and racial discrimination or conflicts, while also symbolizing unity, such as the rainbow representing LGBTQ rights or the blue and yellow showing support for Ukraine. 

An example of this is seen during the Hong Kong protests, where wearing black and yellow became a symbol of support for freedom. However, it also brought risks, as black-dressed protesters faced the threat of arrests and attacks by pro-China supporters. Colours themselves may be an artificial concept, but they have the power to both divide and unite us, fostering solidarity among communities. Like sharp objects, colours can be dangerous, but they also hold the potential to serve as a unifying force.” 

Artist statement:

“The One Country, Two Systems policy governs Hong Kong and Macau since their handover from the UK and Portugal in 1997 and 1999, respectively. This agreement promises 50 years of unchanged governance for both regions, ensuring they can retain their unique identities until 2047 and 2049. (There is a countdown of days for this on Wikipedia.) 

The bowling game aims to depict the current situation in HK and Macau, where China’s actions threaten to undermine the promise of 50 years of stability. Such as National security laws, enforced national identity education in schools, and limitations on freedom of speech are causing uncertainty about our future. The carved words on the plaster bowling cone (Hong Kong, Macau, 2047, 2049) represent the vulnerability and resilience of the two regions. However, as the carving gradually fades in the outdoor environment, it also symbolizes the possibility of Macau and Hong Kong’s disappearance from a game that China is playing cruelly.” 

“Whose voices are heard? An exchange program for foreign artists from Poland and Norway” is a project co-financed by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway from the EEA Financial Mechanism 2014-2021 under the Culture program.

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