BORN HONG KONG, CHINA IN 1981.
GRADUATES WITH A PHILOSOPHY DEGREE (BA HONS) FROM KING’S COLLEGE, LONDON IN 2001
LIVES AND WORK BETWEEN BERLIN & HONG KONG
Joseph Tong creates conceptual works through a multidisciplinary approach and a variety of media, which includes the elements of oil and ink painting, sculpture, photography, site-specific installation and media art that examine core concepts of the physical reality, whilst exploring notions of alternative reality and dimensional potentialities. At times, juxtaposing various theories, genres and processes within the confines of a single work, utilising geometric shapes and organic forms as the principal components of abstraction. A visual linguist, Tong uses and combines highly aestheticised materials – such as structured Plexiglas, dichroic film, Chinese calligraphy paper, and Latex. His interactive works challenge the traditional notion of the passive viewer, achieving a sense of tension between viewer and the work itself.
In Spiegel im Spiegel (2014) the viewer explores the immersive and metaphorical possibilities of reflection. The mirrored surface reflects a physical reality (in which we are present) and yet the illusory content (or visual context) created by the geometric shapes within the framed void allows the viewer to ocularly roam into an alternative reality. By experimenting with aleatoric techniques, Tong formalises the coincidental and emphasises the conscious process of composition that is behind the seemingly random works. Similarly, in L’apparition (2014), the series become a visual manifestation of the condition of dimensional potentialities. As the mirrored effect of the surface Plexiglas reveals its surroundings, the underlying topographical content entices the viewer to look beyond the reflective surface.
In Moment Between Thoughts (2016) there is a departure from the rigid components and mediums employed in previous series. By forging and conditioning a more supplemental and naturalistic way of expression (the use of charcoal on gauze, reminiscent of fishing nets), this series further explores the paradigms of dimensional potentiality through a mode of three-dimensional representation. In Substitute for Sorrow (2016) an emphasis has been placed on the artist’s heritage, specifically referencing Chinese painting. The artist explores the quintessential Chinese medium of ink wash painting by employing new forms of expressions through the utilisation and praxis of radical techniques (such as the use of a nebuliser to produce the sporadic ink stains, that litter beneath the surface Plexiglas).
Tong, therefore, creates situations in which familiar objects are altered or detached from their natural functions, applying specific combinations and certain manipulations of mediums to inspire different contexts, thereby questioning the conditions of appearance of an image. This allows the artist to create a visual language in which to debate, dissect and evaluate the principle doctrines of our physical universe versus that of an alternative, virtual or parallel reality.
SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS
SYMPHONIC DUALITY, THE REPUBLIC, ARTS FORUM, HONG KONG (2017)
SPIEGEL IM SPIEGEL, WOESKE GALLERY, BERLIN (2014)
DREAMSCAPES, HONG KONG ECONOMIC & TRADE OFFICE, BERLIN (2013)
SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS
IM AUGENBLICK, GALERIE VALENTIEN, STUTTGART (2017)
ART KARLSRUHE 16.02 – 19.02, GALERIE VALENTIEN BOOTH, KARLSRUHE (2017)
ART BASEL / ART CENTRAL 22.03 – 26.03, OPERA GALLERY BOOTH, HONG KONG (2016)
GROUP SHOW, GREIS & SCHIEFER GALLERY, FRANKFURT (2016)
LOOKING FORWARD, LOOKING BACKWARDS, BERNHEIMER CONTEMPORARY, BERLIN (2015)
HIGHLIGHTS, OPERA GALLERY, PARIS, LONDON, MONACO, ZURICH (2015)
BLOOMBERG EMERGING ARTISTS, HONG KONG CIVIC CENTRE, HONG KONG (2014)
CHAIM SHEBA + CHRISTIES AUCTION, SCHLOSS BELLEVUE, BERLIN (2014)
CHAIM SHEBA + CHRISTIES AUCTION, REICHSTAGSPRÄSIDENTENPALAIS, BERLIN (2013)