Sala Wong :: personal work portfolio


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If You Are Happy, Clap Your Hands
animation for 50,000m2 LED façade

Exhibition History:
School of Creative Media - City University of Hong Kong and
International Commerce Centre (Sun Hung Kai Properties),
Hong Kong 2016

In the summer of 2016, my animation piece If You Are Happy, Clap Your Hands was accepted into an international exhibition organized by City University of Hong Kong School of Creative Media and ISEA (International Symposium on Electronic Art) 2016. For this show, the animated video and sound work was displayed on the world’s largest outdoor LED screen, the 50,000m2 façade of the International Commerce Centre, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong.

“A simple gesture of hand clapping – flickering big and small on the ICC building – creates a mechanical texture of light and is accompanied by sounds of both clapping hands and electronic beats. In the age of overflowing electronic gadgets and sophisticated technologies, even a straightforward expression becomes overcomplicated. All the same, we still become enraptured in the glowing moments of the city and lights.” - Sala Wong


 


Wandering World
Mixed media installation with two channel stereoscopic 3D animation and projection mapping
(in collaboration with Peter Williams)

Exhibition History:
Juried group exhibition
SIGGRAPH Asia 2017 (official conference and art gallery)
Bangkok, Thailand
2017

We imagine to use technology and reach from our senses and immediate surroundings. Wandering World represents an accumulation of attempts at connecting through physical and virtual activities. Over a one-year period and situated in different geographic (and predominantly political) locations (California and Indiana, USA), the artists simultaneously walked, connected to each other and world events through mobile technologies and using 360-degree, omnidirectional cameras to record images from their respective environments. Along with sounds, and extracted, amassed and whirling within concentric, virtual spheres, flowers compete for attention as subject matter - disorientating place, time, ideology, and thought process.


 


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Big Mountain
single channel digital video with sound, 10:30

Exhibition History:
University Art Gallery, Indiana State University
2015

Banff Center, Canada
Artist Residency Program
2014

Ink floats and spreads on the surface of the sumi paper, revealing distant imageries of tall pine trees and sound traces throughout the space. The solidity and permanence of mountains and trees is transformed into something light and transparent - like a memory - weaving between the watery ink and seeping through the paper.


 


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Conglomerate Distortions
3D stereoscopic video installation
(in collaboration with Peter Williams)

Exhibition History:
Siggraph Asia Kobe, Japan, 2015

Lumen Prize Exhibition, 2014-15
• Llandff Cathedral, Cardiff, Wales, U.K.
• Cardiff School of Art and Design – Cardiff, Wales, U.K.
• Onassis Cultural Center – Athens, Greece
• Auditorium on Broadway, New York Institute of Technology – New York, U.S.A.
• Art ‘otel Amsterdam’s Gallery 5&33 – Amsterdam, Netherlands
• Crypt Gallery – London, U.K

Conglomerate Distortions is a series of immersive animations that emerge from artists Sala Wong and Peter Williams’ practice of hypertourism. The series was inspired by the artists’ visit to Art Basel Hong Kong 2014, where they were met with wildly varying images and objects for sale from all over the world within a densely packed exhibition and marketing space.

For each instance of the series, the artists visit a range of tourist spectacles in different locations and within a compressed timeframe. Throughout this process, they document their experiences using panoptic cameras. Panoptic photography is used because, photographing in all directions at once, it provides an approximation of “immediate surroundings,” displacing the conventional “framing” of a scene and including visual information outside of the artists’ selective view.

The photographs are next collaged together in a manner that interprets the artists’ experiences. The panoptic photography format determines a great deal of what is possible and how the artists must work while still attempting to produce compelling and meaningful images.

The completed collages are then composited using CG Animation techniques. Presented as a synchronized, projection-based installation, the effect is an immersive and dizzying reproduction of the artists’ experiences as hypertourists.


 


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Flow/Ebb
interactive video installation

Exhibition History:
3331 Arts Chiyoda Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
2013

The Cathy and Jesse Marion Art Gallery
SUNY Fredonia, New York
2016

From a shore in Yokohama, these images connect to an undefined space. The visitor is invited to travel and connect to their own memories.



Indistinct
urban interven video installation

Exhibition History:
Bank of the Wabash River at Fairbanks Park, Terre Haute, Indiana
2013

With poetic text-images and ephemeral surfaces of light, this projection-based artwork transforms the act of reading into an indeterminate, elusive aesthetic experience that begins and ends with the flow of the river. A German poem and a Chinese poem are projected on the surface of the river/water as well as on the far side of the bank of the river.


 


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Recurrent
Interactive digital installation with participatory content
Participant’s drawings, live IP webcam feeds, custom software

Exhibition History:
3331 Arts Chiyoda Gallery, Tokyo, Japan, 2013

The Cathy and Jesse Marion Art Gallery
SUNY Fredonia, New York, 2016

Recurrent began as a residency project in Tokyo, Japan. The artists wandered Tokyo and approached over 300 residents, asking for their interpretations of being lost. The project has since expanded to other cities around the world. Participant contributions consist of a written response in the language of their choice, and a drawing.

The Recurrent gallery installation consists of two levels of engagement. First, visitors encounter a large projection displaying participant’s writings within a grid (referencing a map). An overhead camera tracks visitors’ positions: the most visually “active” areas of the projection correspond to the position(s) of visitor(s), flickering through fragments of participant’s responses (from a database).  The “active” areas, while visually stimulating, are more confusing to read than the “inactive” areas, which are static and fade to gray. Another projection, in an upper corner of the gallery, displays participants’ drawings superimposed over real-time feeds from IP webcams around the world, depicting an array of views from unspecified locations and times of day.  The random juxtapositions of drawings and unknown locations reflect that a forgotten experience might suddenly be recalled in an unexpected place.

The second level of engagement invites gallery visitors to become participants. Prompts, paper and pencils are provided at a table with chairs. Participants can write and draw, and then, following provided instructions, use their smart phone to photograph their responses and upload them to the project server to be automatically incorporated into the project database for the current and future exhibitions of Recurrent.


 

Media Design and Animation for “The Soldier's Tale (L’Histoire du soldat)”
Boyce Recital Hall, Indiana

Media Design and animation for “The Soldier's Tale (L’Histoire du soldat)” by Igor Stravinsky, produced by Jimmy Finnie for the School of Music at Indiana State University, Indiana. Colorful paper-cut style digital animation accompanies live chamber orchestra and narration in this production.
2020


 

Media Design for the play “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”
Crossroads Repertory Theatre, Indiana
(in collaboration with Peter Williams)

Media Design for the play “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” by William Shakespeare, Adapted and Directed by Chris Berchild for Crossrods Repertory Theatre, Indiana. Multiple channel videos, projection mapping, animation and digital stills are employed in this production.
2012


 


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Lost & Found in Tokyo
Participatory project with video installation
(in collaboration with Peter Williams)

Exhibition History:
Produced and exhibited at 3331 Arts Chiyoda, Tokyo Japan. Summer 2011
(International Artist Residency Program)
3331 Arts Chiyoda Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
2011

This project interprets urban space as a conflation of contexts: everyday life, history, politics, economics, law enforcement, urban planning, and the constructs of public and private spaces. In turn, a sometimes-contradictory mix of Official and Unofficial voices represents each of these contexts. Our interest is to understand how these variously related and unrelated forces both inscribe, and are inscribed by, ordinary people. As artists, we position ourselves as outsiders, knowingly subjective in our views, yet open to as many different experiences and opinions as possible. Like many other international cities, Tokyo is affected by shifting economic and political forces throughout the world. A moment of change is also a moment of potential. Perhaps we can record and reflect upon this moment of potential by asking ourselves “What Have I Lost” and “What Have I Found?” We will be asking ourselves these questions, and we will pose these same questions to the people of Tokyo. Giving the current crisis in Japan, changes are inevitable. We feel that we are ready to produce a work of art that will engage directly with the vibrant, international and changing people and social landscape of Tokyo. Our strongly held belief is that art should speak to more than simply the here-and-now. We hope that our Tokyo urban- portrait will be a beautiful gift to the people of Japan.


 


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listening
Urban intervention with video projection mapping and live sound performance

Exhibition History:
Urban screening
Terer Haute, Indiana
2011

The project, entitled listening, is a site-specific multimedia installation that uses video projection mapping with graphics and texts to investigate the everyday, distance and longing within our living landscape – our city, our physical surroundings and our social spaces that we share every day. In the first iteration of listening, which took place in Terre Haute, Indiana in 2013, a decrepit silo/grain elevator – a landmark of the city - was the chosen site for the installation. This site was chosen for its monumental scale but also for its timelessness. Interviews were conducted with people from different walks of life. They were asked to talk about their experiences of living in Terre Haute and to share some of their personal stories and memories. The subjects included immigrants, local people, students as well those who commute to Terre Haute but live in other counties. In addition, online sources were used to research interesting stories of local residents. The collected texts were edited and re-sampled together with moving images of three people swinging their legs. These three people act as little angels sitting on top of the city listening to our stories quietly and patiently.


 

The Infinite Space
interactive installation with processing

Exhibition History:
Faculty Art Show
University Gallery, Indiana State University, Indiana
2011

The Infinite Space is an interactive installation that investigates how we travel as visitors in virtual and physical space.  Live network visualization and live-feed video surveillance (closed-circuit camera) thread virtual and physical spaces into a metaphorical feedback loop.  As we use the Internet, each data packet (basic unit of communication over a digital network) sent and received represents both a stop and start: discrete pieces of data that depend on one another in order to be properly translated into readable information for the end-user. In this piece, the large projected image displays live interactions of internet users nearby.  As people use the Internet over the campus network, corresponding IP addresses are shown, denoting a physical location tied to a virtual activity.  A single monofilament fishing line provides a physical thread that connects the projected space to the tangible space.  This single line runs throughout the gallery walls and is punctuated by island-like mounds of putty.  The line appears to terminate within a small theater-like box.  Images of gallery visitors within the box close the loop.  In the seas and islands of information, we wander. Information space expands into infinity - but it will always stay within the closed-circuit of perception, from which nothing can escape.


 

Media Design for the play “Frankenstein”
Crossroads Repertory Theatre, Indiana

In the summer of 2010, I was hired as the Media Designer for the Crossroads Repertory Theatre’s production of Frankenstein, directed by Chris Berchild. Crossroads Repertory Theatre is a professional theatre based in Terre Haute, Indiana. Each year, the company hires professionals nation-wide for their summer productions. As the Media Designer for Frankenstein, I created synchronized multichannel video, animation and imagery which served to accompany the overall set design. Reflecting upon the technological themes of the story, this production features videos and graphics projected onto the set -  “a new visual treat that is sure to entertain.”


 

To Tell A Secret
interactive installation with video projection and sound

Exhibition History:
Installation Nation presented by Primary Colours
Indianapolis, Indiana
2010

Like the human mind, containers both conceal and reveal things. Shipping containers travel along highways everyday, their contents at once mysterious and banal. Like us, they are secretive and yet they tell their stories. Secrets and containers alike are vessels for our own fantasies and dreams. Contemplating these at-once enchanting and commonplace forms, To Tell A Secret metaphorically presents a shipping container in which participants can conceal and reveal their memories and secrets. Participants are invited to enter the container and speak into one of four microphones connected to a computer. A custom program utilizes live text-to-speech software to render and animate the spoken words, causing them to scroll and move along the walls. At times, the words / phrases may collide forming interesting juxtapositions and visual patterns. Sometimes, the meaning of one participant’s words will be obscured as they overlap with those of other participants.


 


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Divisible Synthesis
Dimensions variable
Site-specific interactive installation with generative animation
(in collaboration with Peter Williams)

Exhibition History:
This site-specific piece was designed for and exhibited at the Flagship MUJI
Department Store, Harbour City Shopping Mall, Hong Kong. 2009

Divisible Synthesis is a multi part interactive digital installation that was designed for the flagship MUJI store in Hong Kong. Inspiration came from the dogwood tree - a common sight in many parts of the United States. The particular type of dogwood tree in our neighborhood goes through a period of rapid metamorphosis, including its color, leaves, flowers and even its scent, each spring. I thought about the relative perception of change (in landscape, urban environment, nature and culture) in midwestern USA versus Hong Kong, PRC.


 

Talk…the…line: Hong Kong (series#2)
interactive installation with video and sound
(in collaboration with Peter Williams)

Exhibition History:
Hong Kong Visual Arts Centre
2008

Change is certain, but brings uncertainty. One of the most profitable and capitalist cities in history, Hong Kong thrives on change in the form of economic growth, construction, and popular culture. Hong Kong is determined. In the brief period leading up to the transition from British colony to its current status as a self-governed region under the control of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), however, many residents felt anxiety. Some young professionals left promising careers amidst uncertainty about the future. Ten years later, most of them have returned.

This interactive installation examines both the physical and mental changes brought about not by the Hand-over itself, but by the brief period of uncertainty that preceded and followed it. As with most political spectacles, the Hand-over amounted in many respects to a non-event, its real effects normalized, deferred and diffused, like the diffusing of a bomb, or the lifting of a fog. The anxiety that once surrounded a momentous occasion now seems quaint.

Interviewees were asked to describe their location(s) on the eve of the 1997 Hand-over, and to freely expand upon their thoughts related to it. The manipulated images seen in the installation interpret the vagueness of retracing one’s memories and footsteps, even, sometimes, in a place like Hong Kong.


 


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Talk…the…line: Prague (series#1)
interactive installation with video and sound
(in collaboration with Peter Williams)

Exhibition History:
Open Situations - Skolska28, Prague, Czech Republic 2007

iDEAs: Beyond Boundaries 2007
The International Digital Media & Arts Association
Fuel Gallery, Philadelphia, USA

Shown as video documentation:
Halcyon Contemporary Art Gallery, Terre Haute, Indiana 2009
University Art Gallery, Terre Haute, Indiana 2008
Hong Kong Visual Arts Centre 2008
Poster and paper presentation:
International Symposium on Electronic Art 2008, Singapore 2008

talk…the…line #1: Prague (series), collides the touristic, historical and commercial aspects of Wenceslas Square, Prague. It examines the drastic socioeconomic changes that have occurred within the city of Prague since 1968. Taking the famous Prague Spring as a starting point, participants are asked to re-examine the notion of “historical site” in the context of a tourist industry. In talk…the…line, GPS Photo Geotagging is used as a means for the recording of Absolute Location (latitude and longitude) alongside images, sounds, interviews of local residents and tourists, and historical documents to reference Relative Location. These two spaces negate and contradict each other, raising questions about history, subjectivity, and the social construction of collective memories. In addition to these conflicting elements, the artists assert their subjectivity through the physical expression of the Site itself (in this case, Wenceslas Square) as an installation in the gallery. The artist’s experience of the Site is transported to another space and time. Technology can be thought to have allowed for a metaphorical crystallizing and portable-izing of site-specificity. The physical layout and imagery in the installation is an interpretation of Wenceslas Square itself as a dead-end.


 


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Persistence of Absence
Urban Intervention with Participatory Media and Live Performance

Original Performance:
Rooftop Outdoor Advertising Wall,
673 Wabash Ave, Terre Haute, Indiana 2007

Shown as video documentation:
Outdoor Front Wall, Hong Kong Visual Arts Centre, HK 2008
Halcyon Contemporary Art Gallery, Terre Haute, Indiana 2009

Persistence of Absence uses GPS (global positioning system) together with digital video and projections to investigate relationships among mapping, everyday life, digital devices, and the location of distance. Twelve Indiana residents were selected to contribute video to the piece, filming according to an “open score”-like shooting schedule that I provided to them.

In the final performance, three large projections were set up on a rooftop area in downtown Terre Haute, Indiana. The projections, which partially overlapped each other, were arranged by shooting location: everyday life in Terre Haute on the right, and corresponding footage of everyday life in Indianapolis on the left. In the middle was footage of the driving distance between Terre Haute and Indianapolis along US 40. A violinist composed a musical score and performed it live, standing in front of the projection. The interaction of performer’s music, cast shadow and projected video images created a very interesting, layered and enchanting atmosphere.


 


Hats Dreams
wearable art with live video input

Exhibition History:
ARTCONCEPT- an international art festival in St. Petersburg, Russia
Juried Exhibition: video and wearable art
2006

ISEA2004, 12th International Symposium on Electronic Art, Baltic Sea – Helsinki, Finland and Tallinn, Estonia.
2004

Hats Dreams is a wearable art project foregrounding socially constructed relationships between fashion and identity. The moving images are the residues - snapshots of social interaction. Each of the hats, fabricated from patterned lenticular and fresnel lenses, has a video camera and LCD screen. The LCD screens display live feeds from the cameras.


 


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Please Be Seated
interactive installation with live video

Exhibition History:
Initiative for Cultural Exchange and Computer Arts
(ICECA Thailand) 3 rd International New Media Arts Festival, Thailand
2005

ARTCONCEPT- an international art festival in St. Petersburg, Russia
Juried Exhibition: video and wearable art
2004

Please Be Seated
interactive installation with live video

Exhibition History:
Initiative for Cultural Exchange and Computer Arts
(ICECA Thailand) 3 rd International New Media Arts Festival, Thailand
2005

ARTCONCEPT- an international art festival in St. Petersburg, Russia
Juried Exhibition: video and wearable art
2004

Approaching the space, the participant sees a large, rectangular area of white light projected onto the wall. In the lower right corner of this white field is the photographic representation of a simple wooden chair. Between the projector, approximately three feet back from the screen, is an actual wooden chair - its cast-shadow falling into the lower-left corner of the projection. The position of these two “chairs” on the screen suggests depth - with the “virtual” chair situated slightly further back in the “picture plane.” The real chair faces the projected white area on the wall. Three different chairs are presented here: the actual wooden chair, its real shadow, and its projected photographic representation. When the participant sits down on the real chair, she casts her shadow into the lower left corner of the projected area. A sensor under the chair triggers the photographic representation (right side of screen) to fade into a flat silhouette/shadow image. At the same time, a hidden camera photographs the image of the participant’s shadow. When the participant stands up, her shadow, which had fallen into left side of the projection, is horizontally-flipped and super imposed into the flat silhouette/shadow image on the right side of the projection. After a few seconds, the viewer’s shadow disappears from the projection and the virtual chair changes back from silhouette to photograph. The installation is ready for the next participant to interact.

The overall layout of this installation, with its positive and negative spaces, produces a mood of serenity - a space for philosophical reflection on the paradoxes of existence.


 


Encased
multimedia installation with computer controlled interactive environment

Exhibition History:
ISEA2002, 11th International Symposium on Electronic Art, Nagoya, Japan [Orai]
2002

The emergence of digital and imaging arts has challenged us with the diminishing of physical sensations in art. The real world is solid; the virtual one is void. It seems that virtual reality falls into no category; it is neither three dimensional nor two dimensional. Our bodies are extended to places where they have never been before. The passage of process from the mind, to the body, to the finished artwork is distanced and segmented by the intervention of modern technology. In Encased, various levels of technology merge together, creating a series of reflexive events through light, shadow and touch. The use of live-feed video through a tiny wireless camera allows for a seamless closure to the feedback loop which is set up between the participant, the animation, the light, the video and the environment as a whole.


 

Meeting Points
interactive installation
(in collaboraiton with Peter Williams)

Exhibition History:
Halcyon Contemporary Art, Indiana
2009

Meeting Points is an interactive installation juxtaposing immediate and mediated communication. Facebook-like portraits appear to rain down from above onto a bench-like object. The bench-form references public venues where people meet up and talk face-to-face. Such places emerge over time, reflecting local urban spaces and their inhabitants. The portraits are responsive to participant interaction. The number of sitters their locations influences visual connections. Referencing “friending” in a social network, as groups of people sit on the bench together, their physical proximity in relation to each other influences how the portraits are distributed. For instance, if several clusters of people sit down as separate groups, particular portraits will attach to these separate groupings.