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Rolls-Royce Motor Cars presents new commission in Hong Kong by local artist Morgan Wong
Morgan Wong, Untitled, Expressway, 2015. Courtesy Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. Photo Anthony Kwan.

HONG KONG.- Rolls-Royce Motor Cars announced that a new installation by Hong Kong-based artist Morgan Wong is being presented within the marque’s Hong Kong showroom. The work was unveiled on 10 March 2015 and is on display for one week to coincide with Asia’s leading art fair, Art Basel in Hong Kong (15 – 17 March 2015). Wong investigates the value of urban development in relation to the irrepressibility of time by transforming Rolls-Royce Motor Cars’ Spirit of Ecstasy, from a symbol of beauty to an emblem for capturing timelessness. This new commission is being presented in partnership with Pearl Lam Galleries.

Morgan Wong’s ambitious new commission Untitled – Expressway is an installation with a component on the floor of the showroom together with multi-channel video work including footage taken while cruising on a route connecting the present heart of Hong Kong and a satellite 'new town' embedded in the city’s prehistoric history. The Spirit of Ecstasy, which adorns every Rolls-Royce motor car, seemingly bears witness to the changes of Hong Kong in an attempt to remind the audience that the process of transformation, and the speed at which it occurs, deviates from humanity. Untitled – Expressway is comprised of abstract video, archive materials and a narration by a fictional character. It is being exhibited by monitor video projections, and also on the video screen in the rear compartment of a Rolls-Royce car. Inside the vehicle the audience can experience a virtual voyage in an intimate and timeless manner.

Morgan Wong’s practice ranges from performance, video and installation, to works on paper. His new project continues an on-going study of the key themes of experiencing temporality and the dynamism between Hong Kong and its people, which the artist explored in two of his pivotal past works Untitled – Agnosia Series I (2011) and Journey – Hong Kong (2007).

The work is the latest installation created as part of the Rolls-Royce art programme, which draws together the handcrafted elegance of Rolls-Royce motor cars with contemporary artists around the world. Internationally acclaimed artists including Ugo Rondinone, Erwin Wurm, Regina Silveira, Will Cotton, Angela Bulloch and Karl Lagerfeld have featured in the programme. Morgan Wong’s project during Art Basel in Hong Kong continues the marque’s partnership with Pearl Lam Galleries, following a successful presentation of a new commission in Rolls-Royce’s Singapore showroom by American artist Carlos Rolón/Dzine in January 2015.

Paul Harris, Asia Pacific Regional Director of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, said, “In Morgan Wong’s work, we see a convergence of technology and art. It bears an interesting parallel to the confluence of Rolls-Royce’s Bespoke craftsmanship and the cutting edge technologies used both in our manufacturing and on-board Rolls-Royce cars themselves.

“Recent collaborations have focused on digital art and light commissions, frequently inspired by Rolls-Royce automobiles themselves, celebrating the dynamism and momentum of our marque.”

Artist, Morgan Wong said, “With Rolls-Royce’s unique standing in the history of Hong Kong and the brand’s constant pursuit of perfection, I am inspired to embark on a new work that delves into the notion of development through the effortless speed of an automobile. The flashing lights emitted from the abstract videos in Untitled – Expressway will be seemingly fragmented, reminiscent of the city from the eye of an imaginary character inside the vehicle.”

Pearl Lam said, “I am particularly delighted to see Rolls-Royce supporting the work of Morgan Wong, an emerging Hong Kong artist with tremendous talent and scope. For this project Morgan has created a video work documenting a journey through Hong Kong exploring the city’s transformation and continuing his focus on duration and timelessness.”

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