Untitled — Zen Garden I
(Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens)
Artist: Morgan Wong
Artwork Location: Fountain Terrace Garden (on the podium)
"The Gardens has the perfect image of being a destination for school outings or field trips to me, even none of mine has actually happened in here. However, photos I found online, especially those in the late 80s, have reminded me of such memory of mine."
Time continues to tick away before us, and there is nothing we can do to make time stand still. If one feels helpless about this inevitability, exploring history may bring momentary relief, in the sense that events of the past would not fall bit by bit into oblivion. Artist Morgan Wong notices that traces of history can be found all over this century-old Gardens, in particular with the bronze statue of King George VI. Its site today used to be that for Sir Arthur Kennedy's statue, which was carted away and melted down during the Japanese Occupation. Although the bronze statue is a witness to these changes in the Gardens, it appears to Wong that people have lost the motivation to explore the history behind it. Wong attempts to echo the historical events relating to the bronze statue by using similar materials together with rocks and gravel to create a Zen Garden, to provide a quiet space in which visitors can feel the existence of time.
Wong's artistic practice unfolds his contemplation on time. Transcending a personal perceptual approach, his concerns are expanded to aspects like social-political issues or scientific notions in temporality. In 2019, Morgan Wong has been awarded the Asian Cultural Council New York Fellowship. His latest selected exhibitions include Minimalism: Space. Light. Object at ArtScience Museum Singapore in 2018 and Time Isn't Our Border at the Goethe-Institut Hong Kong in 2019. His work has also been shown at international institutions, including Media Museum ZKM, Tate Modern and Seoul Museum of Art. His public installation has been invited in Harbour Arts Sculpture Park in 2018 and Taehwa Eco-River Art Festival in 2017. Wong's work is included in the collection of MILL6 CHAT.