2017 Program pt 1

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If You Are Struggling, You Must Be Happy :)

If You Are Struggling, You Must Be Happy :)

Min Wong

Opening 04.10.18 6-8pm
Artist Talks 27.11.18 6-7pm

This installation investigates the spectacle associated with US cults from the 1960’s and 70’s and aims to reflect the paradoxical search for spiritual collectivism, human failure and future possibilities. Via the context of contemporary sculpture, I will further my investigation of visual culture associated with self care movements by examining tropes of utopia in contemporary life and art. By looking back to investigate the utopian elements of previous eras, we can perhaps reimagine modeling alternative worlds as intimations of possibility. By exploring utopian themes through sculpture, I examine the failures and the desire to repair the failed and build the new, reflecting this ambivalence and contributing to the possibilities for shaping the futures. The work acts as a playful platform to refer to the how American West Coast counterculture and its utopian aspirations, relate to the present.

In many ways I have co-opted my practice of Bikram yoga, and its philosophy of self-care, as a methodology for art making. The artefacts use repurposed yoga apparatus’ such as a rollers cast into bronze refering to fetish charged with both attraction and taboo. These sculptures seek to embody the complexities of modern spirituality through the appropriation of esoteric practices, the slippage of guru and deity, and the relationship of guru and disciple within methods of devotional practices. In some ways the latter might reflect the relationship between artist and the viewer. By using heterogeneous and repurposed material from the culture of the hippie era, and the current Yoga movement, I will present a physical space for the viewer to experience the 60s and 70s new wave counterculture as a simulacrum of lost hope, illusory dreams and shattered utopias.


Min Wong is a sculpture and installation artist who investigates reconstructed counterculture accoutrements from the 1960’s and 1970’s as a simulacrum for utopian concerns. These ‘movements’ of the 60s and 70s produced significant social changes, and the New Age went on to be packaged and marketed in the 1980s, and has been romanticised into self-help strategies since then, in one form or another. Today it seems that our search for identity been hijacked by the spectacle and in turn part of our material culture.

Her installations aim to identify new systems of interrelation with the present and appropriations of faux spirituality within the critique of contemporary life. Using the studio as a faux Bikram yoga room, her sculptures and installations consider the ‘kitsch mystical experience’ and become an interplay between visionary imagination, cultural invention and future utopias. Min has participated in international residencies in China, Spain and Los Angeles and recently exhibited in Hatched, Pica, Mars Gallery, Melbourne and Fontanelle Gallery, Adelaide.

Earlier Event: September 6