A person looks at their reflection in a mirror. Another person watches from behind, holding a handbag. There are captions at the bottom of the image which read 'I'm white! White!'

Ming Wong Life of Imitation 2009, video still. Courtesy of the Artist and Vitamin Creative Space

Room 7 in Media Networks

Ming Wong and Tseng Kwong Chi

Tseng Kwong Chi, London, England (Tower Bridge)  1983

This black and white silver gelatin black and white photograph is part of a larger body of work by the Hong Kong-born American photographer Tseng Kwong Chi known as the East Meets West series or the Expeditionary Portrait Series. This series, which Tseng began in the late 1970s and continued into the 1980s, is his best-known work (see also New York, New York (Empire State) 1979, printed 2018, Tate P82466; and San Francisco, California (Trans Am) 1979, printed 2008, Tate P82467). The artist photographed himself in front of popular tourist sites, both in the United States and elsewhere. He is rigidly positioned, wearing a Zhonghan or ‘Mao suit’ and a deadpan expression. Co-opting the identity of a Chinese government official or dignitary, Tseng shot these images himself, setting up his camera, situating himself within the composition and clicking the shutter release cable, which is often visible in his hand. About his intention in making the works, he stated: ‘My mirrored glasses give the picture a neutral impact and a surrealistic quality I’m looking for. I am an inquisitive traveller, a witness of my time, and an ambiguous ambassador … My photographs are social studies and social comments on Western society and its relationship with the East. [I pose] as a Chinese tourist in front of monuments of Europe, America and elsewhere.’ (Quoted on artist’s website, http://www.tsengkwongchi.com/, accessed 20 May 2018.)

1/4
artworks in Ming Wong and Tseng Kwong Chi

Tseng Kwong Chi, San Francisco, California (Trans Am)  1979, printed 2008

This black and white silver gelatin black and white photograph is part of a larger body of work by the Hong Kong-born American photographer Tseng Kwong Chi known as the East Meets West series or the Expeditionary Portrait Series. This series, which Tseng began in the late 1970s and continued into the 1980s, is his best-known work (see also New York, New York (Empire State) 1979, printed 2018, Tate P82466, and London, England (Tower Bridge) 1983, printed 2018, Tate P14982). The artist photographed himself in front of popular tourist sites, both in the United States and elsewhere. He is rigidly positioned, wearing a Zhonghan or ‘Mao suit’ and a deadpan expression. Co-opting the identity of a Chinese government official or dignitary, Tseng shot these images himself, setting up his camera, situating himself within the composition and clicking the shutter release cable, which is often visible in his hand. About his intention in making the works, he stated: ‘My mirrored glasses give the picture a neutral impact and a surrealistic quality I’m looking for. I am an inquisitive traveller, a witness of my time, and an ambiguous ambassador … My photographs are social studies and social comments on Western society and its relationship with the East. [I pose] as a Chinese tourist in front of monuments of Europe, America and elsewhere.’ (Quoted on artist’s website, http://www.tsengkwongchi.com/, accessed 20 May 2018.)

2/4
artworks in Ming Wong and Tseng Kwong Chi

Tseng Kwong Chi, New York, New York (Empire State)  1979, printed 2018

This black and white silver gelatin black and white photograph is part of a larger body of work by the Hong Kong-born American photographer Tseng Kwong Chi known as the East Meets West series or the Expeditionary Portrait Series. This series, which Tseng began in the late 1970s and continued into the 1980s, is his best-known work (see also San Francisco, California (Trans Am) 1979, printed 2008, Tate P82467, and London, England (Tower Bridge) 1983, printed 2018, Tate P14982). The artist photographed himself in front of popular tourist sites, both in the United States and elsewhere. He is rigidly positioned, wearing a Zhonghan or ‘Mao suit’ and a deadpan expression. Co-opting the identity of a Chinese government official or dignitary, Tseng shot these images himself, setting up his camera, situating himself within the composition and clicking the shutter release cable, which is often visible in his hand. About his intention in making the works, he stated: ‘My mirrored glasses give the picture a neutral impact and a surrealistic quality I’m looking for. I am an inquisitive traveller, a witness of my time, and an ambiguous ambassador … My photographs are social studies and social comments on Western society and its relationship with the East. [I pose] as a Chinese tourist in front of monuments of Europe, America and elsewhere.’ (Quoted on artist’s website, http://www.tsengkwongchi.com/, accessed 20 May 2018.)

3/4
artworks in Ming Wong and Tseng Kwong Chi

Sorry, no image available

Ming Wong, Life of Imitation  2009

4/4
artworks in Ming Wong and Tseng Kwong Chi

Art in this room

P14982: London, England (Tower Bridge)
Tseng Kwong Chi London, England (Tower Bridge) 1983
P82467: San Francisco, California (Trans Am)
Tseng Kwong Chi San Francisco, California (Trans Am) 1979, printed 2008
P82466: New York, New York (Empire State)
Tseng Kwong Chi New York, New York (Empire State) 1979, printed 2018

Sorry, no image available

Ming Wong Life of Imitation 2009